DOROTHY House Hospice Care has managed to recover almost a third of the £130,000 that it lost in a cyber crime theft in May, the charity disclosed today.

The Winsley-based hospice was the victim of a criminal financial fraud by an external party in May which resulted in £130,000 being stolen from its bank account.

Following an independent investigation by a team of forensic accountancy experts, Dorothy House today confirmed there was no internal staff collusion in the fraud.

The hospice said it has now successfully recovered £42,000 of the stolen money and the remaining sum of around £87,000 is being pursued by a police force in the Midlands area.

John Davies, Chief Executive of Dorothy House Hospice Care, said: “I am delighted that £42,000 has been rightfully returned to the hospice but we will not rest until we’ve explored every avenue to recover the outstanding money.

“That such a heartless crime can be targeted at a charity like Dorothy House is outrageous, especially when the hospice is reliant on fundraising for income and provides its services free of charge.

“We are grateful to the local community for their tremendous support and loyalty following this incident and we thank our staff and volunteers for their ongoing dedication to delivering the outstanding care we are renowned for.”

The partial recovery of 32 per cent of the total taken was made possible after chartered accountants Bishop Fleming conducted an independent forensic investigation on behalf of the DHHC Trustees.

The firm’s report concluded that although the hospice’s security measures were robust, some additional measures would be appropriate. Dorothy House has implemented all of these recommendations.

A further audit by independent internal auditors TIAA concluded that Dorothy House has reasonable arrangements in place providing a good level of security from the risk of fraud or cybercrime. Additional recommendations, checks and balances continue to be added to further protect Dorothy House against security threats.

Mr Davies added: “Dorothy House has taken this criminal incident extremely seriously and all relevant authorities have been consulted including the Police, Banks, DHHC Trustees and Insurers, the Charity Commission & NHS Counter Fraud Support.

“Both patient and family care remained unaffected throughout the fraudulent incident and subsequent investigation as did our financial stability due to sound contingency planning.

“Post-incident Dorothy House has been working hard to help the UK hospice community and the wider charity sector by sharing our experiences, conclusions and actions in order to raise awareness of the risk of fraudulent attacks.”

Dorothy House Hospice Care was recently recognised as one of two high performing hospices by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in their ‘State of Hospice Services 2014-17’ Report published on October 13.

Dorothy House is rated ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC, which places it in the top six per cent of adult social care providers nationally.

Founded in 1976 by Prue Dufour, the hospice is a leading, independent charity whose services are available free of charge.

It provides palliative and end-of-life care from early diagnosis onwards across a catchment area of 700 square miles, serving a population of 550,000 people across Bath and North-East Somerset, Wiltshire and Somerset.