The NHS is paying compensation after a bereavement advisor stole money from dead patients.
Yvette Adams was sentenced to five years imprisonment at the end of April this year after a lengthy investigation. It is believed she stole £782,000 by fraudulently dealing with deceased patients’ wills. She amended one patients’ will to make herself the executor of the estate, and subsequently retained £240,000 for herself.
In another case, she searched the home of a dead patient for a will and clues to their relatives. This was a standard part of her role as a bereavement advisor. However, after finding a relative’s address, she failed to chase them up correctly, instead forging a letter from them giving her permission to be executor of the estate.
Ms Adams claimed to have used the money from her spree of thefts from 2002 to 2009 for good. She claimed to have given away £215,000 to charity. It was proved in court that much of the money had been spent on herself, including a BMW and Audi cars – both costing over £30,000 – and two different properties.
In a proceeds of crime hearing in Leicester, the Court managed to confiscate £225,000 worth of assets from Ms Adams to pay compensation to victims. The NHS Litigation Authority – who pay out negligence claims – is paying back the remaining £550,000 stolen from charities and relatives named in the eight stolen patients’ wills.