Hastings NHS fraud suspects found dead abroad

Essenden Road surgery
Essenden Road surgery

A couple at the centre of an investigation into allegations of fraud at a Hastings doctors’ surgery are reported to have been found dead abroad, Sussex Police say.

On Wednesday (April 25), Sussex Police confirmed they had received reports of the deaths of two people overseas, who officers had been attempting to trace as part of an active investigation into missing funds at the Cornwallis Plaza practice in Hastings.

This newspaper understands the pair to be 42-year-old British national Dr Titus John Bradley and 28-year-old Hungarian national Noemy Timea Gergely, who were found dead in Cape Verde earlier this month.

When asked for information about the state of the investigation in to Dr Bradley, a Sussex Police spokesman said: “In May 2017 NHS Hastings and Rother CCG contacted us with concerns about the possible inappropriate use of funds at the Cornwallis Plaza surgery. Our investigation has established that a substantial sum of money had been taken.

“Enquiries have been made to trace two former employees at the group in connection with the investigation."

The spokesman added that officers had received reports that the pair had been found dead but that the force is waiting for formal confirmation via the Foreign and Commonwealth office.

Until October last year, the Cornwallis Plaza practice ran GP services from four sites in Hastings, namely Cornwallis Plaza Surgery, Shankill Surgery, Little Ridge Surgery and Essenden Road Surgery. Following Dr Bradley's departure NHS Hastings and Rother CCG stepped in to reassign patients to new practices in the town.

Following his departure Dr Bradley was also suspended from the GMC register, preventing him from legally practising as a doctor in the UK.

Speaking this week, a NHS Hastings and Rother CCG spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the deceased.

“In view of the current police investigation we cannot comment further at this time.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said this morning: “Our staff are assisting the family of a British man following his death in Cape Verde and are in contact with the local authorities.”