Former Chief Information and Digital Officer at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Peter Knight, has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment suspended for two years following a fraud conviction for falsifying a degree on his job application.
Knight held the senior role at the trust from 22 August 2016 until 6 September 2018, when he resigned. In May 2018 the trust received an anonymous tip that Knight may have lied about his credentials when he applied for the role, opening an investigation with the Local Counter Fraud Specialist.
A statement from the trust explains: “The trust’s HR department repeatedly asked Peter Knight to provide a copy of his degree certificate but he was unable to do so. In August 2018, Mr Knight admitted to the trust that he did not have a degree. He was informed that the trust would formally investigate this matter. Mr Knight then resigned his employment with immediate effect.”
Knight’s position no longer exists at the organisation, but David Walliker now holds the most senior IT role as Chief Digital and Partnership Officer.
The trust has since changed its recruitment process to “ensure that it is not possible to avoid confirming the academic qualifications of applicants prior to appointment”, according to the organisation. Additionally, it will verify key qualifications cited by job applicants with universities and professional bodies.
In line with NHS Counter Fraud Authority guidance, the trust has also applied for compensation for the costs of the investigation and for the salary paid to Mr Knight during his employment, which was in excess of £130,000 a year at the time of his resignation.