Patients at risk in NHS after MailOnline investigation exposes cheating student ...

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Thousands of student doctors and nurses are paying other academics to write their university essays, a MailOnline investigation reveals.

Hundreds of shadowy websites peddle essays on all topics from asthma to cancer, allowing student medics to avoid writing essays themselves.

Dr Thomas Lancaster of Staffordshire University said that this calls into question the integrity of NHS staff and raises concerns about other forms of malpractice.

'The real danger is that doctors who have cheated go on to other forms of unscrupulous behaviour,' he said. 'They are developing a lack of integrity while at university.

'The public would be outraged to know that the doctors responsible for their care are cheats.'

A sales representative from Write My Essay Today guarantees '100 per cent confidentiality' to a reporter posing as a medical student

A sales representative from Write My Essay Today guarantees '100 per cent confidentiality' to a reporter posing as a medical student

The Write My Essay Today website targets its advertising at cheating student doctors

The Write My Essay Today website targets its advertising at cheating student doctors

This Academic Assignment webpage is also designed to attract cheating medical students

This Academic Assignment webpage is also designed to attract cheating medical students

It comes after a major MailOnline investigation in Kenya exposed the inner workings of the murky essay writing industry, which is estimated to be worth £100 million.

In a further development, a reporter approached four different essay factories posing as a student doctor, and was offered a cheating service every time.

The firms – Kenyan-based Amexwrite, Ukrainian Custom Writings, Academic Assignments in India and Write My Essay Today – responded instantly to enquiries via online messenger.

HOW MANY MEDICAL STUDENTS CHEAT? 

It is impossible to know exactly how many student medics cheat, as the vast majority do not admit it and most do not get caught.

Estimates vary, with some researchers saying that five per cent of students cheat while others put the figure at 15 per cent. 

Conservative estimates indicate that at least 115,000 British students buy essays each year, with about 7,000 of these thought to be trainee doctors and nurses.

But the true figures are likely much higher. 'Everything to do with cheating is more widespread than we know,' Dr Lancaster, a researcher in contract cheating, said. 

'I've come across many sites aimed specifically at doctors and nurses. There is obviously enough demand for a thriving medical essay market.'

When asked to provide a complete medical essay that was ready for submission, a representative for Write My Essay Today responded: 'certainly, that is what we focus on'.

The other companies gave similar responses. Amexwrite claimed to have 'experts even on medical field', while Academic Assignments said 'there is no catch' and it was impossible for students to get caught.

Amexwrite is run by Kenyan millionaire James Waitutu Karuri, 36, who became rich on the profits of cheating, MailOnline has learnt.

Last week, we revealed that Kenya is the heart of the industry, with thousands of freelance writers producing coursework for British students.

When confronted in Nairobi, Mr Karuri claimed that his business had

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