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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35044
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Is this fraud by false representation or harassment.

Customer Question

Is this fraud by false representation or harassment.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further details firstCould you explain a little more about your problem please
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay odd situation blown out of proportion but please read details. A pseudonym and a mostly true story was used to get general information and details were passed about between hospitals which I didn't expect. I give brief background (1.) and the issue at hand (2). I am worried that either hospital might link up my details and claim I committed some fraud, deception or harassment but it was unintentional. I asked general info and ended up giving the background after being pushed, and this then got passed around when I didn't expect it. Please read below for it to make sense
1. Background
I suspected a family member died of a prescribing error. I found out it must be prescribed with certain pre-medication. We asked the hospital, they refused to answer what the premedication was. An foi request under a different name revealed they used guidelines from the local cancer network in July 2014.2. Issue
In Sept 2015, I called the pharmacist (B) for the local cancer network at his other place of work- hospital B. I wanted to know general information about whether a drug could be prescribed without pre-medication and if heart failure was common. I used the pseudonym as I thought you could use any name at anytime and also I didn't want anyone in the cancer network discussing it with the individuals involved at hospital A. B asked the background and I ended up telling him it was concerns because a relative had been given the drug and there was suspected heart failure afterwards. I may have led him to believe the patient was still alive and it was more recent but I didn't want to tell him the background just find out if the drug could be prescribed without pre-meds. He told me he didn't work for the Local cancer network anymore but gave me the general info on the drug and said I should discuss it with hospital A.
2.2 He then called the pharmacy at hospital A and gave them my mobile number and pseudonym and told them the above. They called and left a message. I was quite shocked he did this and dunno why now, but I called back. The pharmacist at hospital A (A) asked me the background and wanted patient details. I refused saying it was upto the family member but on pushing me I said it was my mother and it happened in the last few months when it happened a few years ago and she was dead. I asked him if it was normal to exclude the pre-meds. He told me he would call me back and asked me to see if my family member would agree to reveal her details. He called back leaving a message saying call the breast nurse to discuss it and didn't give any info on the drug.My issue is I want to complain to the GMC about the doctor in hospital A. But I think the above will come out with my mobile number and the police will get involved.
Have I committed any offences of obtaining information by giving false info . Has there been any gain or loss. I regularly use that pseudonym in trying to find out general info on cancer via foi requests. I understood that is legal. I didn't want hospital A involved but B gave my pseudonym and gave the background.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
I do not think that you need to worry.You have done nothing wrong in your enquiries and have not committed fraud - nor harassed anyoneI hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Did I gain information by false representation by giving a different name and by misleading (or not correcting an assumption) them into thinking the person was still alive
I gave a different name is ***** ***** fraud in the greater context of what happened next. Also he may have thougt it more recent and a current so wasted his time by contacting the other hospital- a loss?
The pharmacist contacted the original hospital and gave them this pseudonym
The original hospital may believe that the issue was more recently and the patient was still alive. They may have checked through their records to see if it happnened currently. Is that not a loss
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
No there is no loss and you have done nothing that amounts to fraud
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
sorry about how do you know that. what would be fraud then? Did they not waste their time calling the other hospital and theb other hospital waste time checking their records?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
You made an enquiry and it was responded to.You did not make any monetary gain from the matter and any work that they did (if they did) was not done at your request
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
does it become fraud or deception because the name given was a pseudonym?
Also, they may have believed the patient was still alive. I'm not sure how this happened.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
sorry but according to the cps website fraud occurs when you gains property, which includes information not just monetary gain.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Fraud can indeed occur in many ways.If you fraudulently obtained my bank details that is an offence and you would be prosecuted.If you phoned someone and held yourself out to be me - that would be fraudulent and you may or may not be prosecuted depending on the contextHowever that is not what happened in this case.You made an enquiry using a different name. That is NOT fraud.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thanks, ***** ***** I committed any criminal offences? I may have led to them believe, or not corrected them when they thought the patient was still alive. Thing is I just wanted general info, but in the course of the enquiry the circumstances and events came out. They then passed this info on to the original hospital, I guess because they were surprised with what I describedMy concern is if I make a formal complaint against the staff involved they may connect that some random person called another hospital with a similar story and they then spoke to him about it. They will not be happy and may ask the police to investigate and give the mobile number and they may feel differently to the enquiry and decide the question me.If I have committed no offences then can I give a full account. Or should I just no comment and let them prove that it was me.The thing is
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
No you have not committed ANY criminal offence whatsoever and the police will have no interest in the matter