Harry Singer nearly duped the NHS of £90,000 by claiming
he helped 2,000 smokers kick their habit. Each time the canny Singer submitted
forms signed by a supposed smoker saying the had received six sessions of counseling
then quit smoking.
What he actually told the poor people signing the form
was that they were supporting the Government's an on public smoking. The
54-year-old was jailed for 18 months after it emerged that "many who
signed up had not given up smoking, had quit up to 25 years ago or had never
Pronouncing the sentence, Judge John Hillen said,
"This was all driven by the need to meet targets, and it's a feature of
the targets-driven culture of the governments of this country that it can lead
to the distortion of proper functions."
Singer was appointed
by the anti-smoking charity QUIT, which was subcontracted by the Kensington and
Chelsea Primary Care Trusts. He was arrested in March 2007 when QUIT raised
concerns over his work.