Five men to stand trial over £6.5m NHS Scotland corruption and bribery

Lucrative contracts were allegedly handed out by NHS managers in return for cash and gifts across the country.

Five men to stand trial over £6.5m NHS Scotland corruption and bribery iStock

Five men are to stand trial following a £6.5m corruption and bribery probe into NHS Scotland contracts.

The group were held after investigations into the award of lucrative deals in health boards across the country to an Ayrshire telecommunications firm.

Three individuals listed as directors of Oricom Ltd – based in Irvine – are among the accused who feature on the 15 page indictment detailing 26 charges.

Adam Sharoudi, 40, Gavin Brown, 46, and David Bailey, 46, did “acquire, use and possess” a total of £6,501,149 of allegedly “criminal property” paid by the health boards of NHS Lothian, NHS Grampian, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

Oricom Ltd officers in Irvine, North Ayrshire.Google Maps

Prosecutors claim the firm illegally secured work for “the supply, installation and maintenance of telecommunication and video conferencing equipment and services” at various health board premises.

Alan Hush, 67, and Gavin Cox, 46, were also allegedly involved.

Hush is listed on the indictment as telecommunications manager at NHS Lothian and then NHS Scotland video conferencing service manager.

Cox is described as being NHS Lanarkshire’s head of IT and infrastructure at the time.

Court papers list a string of accusations including taking bribes, corruption, fraud, theft and Oricom directors being given “commercially sensitive information”.

The allegations span between January 2010 and August 2017.

Among the charges are claims Hush was given £26,981 of London hotel stays, food, drink, cash, concert tickets, laptop, and computer software.

Prosecutors claim he was given “reward and inducement” for “causing the award of procurements” for the benefit of Oricom.

Hush is said to have done something illegal with the “orders” so that they would fall into his level of “authorisation” and “prevent scrutiny” by senior bosses.

Other claims detailed are that Hush alleged £1,430-worth of mobile phones were needed for NHS Lothian staff – but that he instead gave them to others.

Bills totalling £5,283 were then said to have been paid by the health board.

Prosecutors further claim Oricom directors were involved in similar “corrupt practices” with Alexander Stewart, who was described as NHS Lanarkshire telecommunications manager. He is listed as since having passed away.

Mr Stewart is said to have been given £77,460 of money, hotels stays, hospitality and plane tickets. A relative also allegedly had a £1,400 trip to Seamill Hydro in Ayrshire paid for.

Oricom directors are also accused of bribing co-accused Gavin Cox during his time at NHS Lanarkshire.

Cox allegedly accepted £120,636 of similar gifts – as well as a television and wall bracket.

He also used some of the money given to pay for an “extension and landscaping” at a property in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire.

Prosecutors claim Oricom went on to secure £3.7m of work with the health board.

Another official said to have worked for both NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was also allegedly “rewarded” in a bid to get further business for the company.

A senior employee at NHS Ayrshire and Arran health board is finally said to have been given items such as tickets to the horse racing, an iPad and a phone with Oricom then getting work from that health board.

The case called for a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday. All five accused had their attendance excused.

Lawyers Ronnie Renucci KC, solicitor advocate Gordon Martin, Brian McConnachie KC and Tony Graham KC pled not guilty on behalf of the first four.

No plea was entered by Calum Weir, who was representing Bailey.

But, the defence lawyers all agreed a trial should be set.

Lord Arthurson went on to fix a trial due to begin in Glasgow in January 2025.

The case could last around 15 to 16 weeks.

Hush, of Leith, Edinburgh, Cox, of Cathcart, Glasgow, Sharoudi, of Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Brown, of Prestwick, Ayrshire and Bailey, of Hooton, Cheshire, remain on bail in the meantime.

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