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January 24 2020

Oxford NHS hospital IT boss who lied about degree sentenced

A former NHS boss who lied about having a degree has been given a suspended prison sentence.

As reported by the BBC, Peter Knight, 53, of Blagrove Road, Teddington, worked at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust from August 2016 until September 2018.

He pleaded guilty to fraud and was handed two years in jail, suspended for two years, at Oxford Crown Court.

The court heard how Knight, who was paid a £130,000 a year salary, claimed he had a Classics degree on his CV.

The former chief information and digital officer was exposed after an anonymous tip off in May 2018 and later resigned after the trust began an investigation.

In a press release issued on his appointment in 2016, the trust said Knight had been employed to "shape its ambition to become one of the foremost healthcare organisations in the UK and globally".

It said Knight was responsible for "developing and delivering a comprehensive information technology strategy".

Chief executive Dr Bruno Holthof said in the release that Knight brought a "wealth of experience and expertise" to the role.

In a statement following the sentencing the trust said Knight's role was "non-clinical and he had no direct contact with patients".

It added: "The trust has subsequently strengthened its recruitment process to ensure that it is not possible to avoid confirming the academic qualifications of applicants prior to appointment.

"The trust also verifies key qualifications with the university, professional body or other institution which awarded the qualification."

A proceeds of crime hearing into his gains of more £250,000 will be heard in May.

Knight had previously been a deputy director at the Department for Health and Social Care before he arrived in Oxford.