On 9th February 2017, National Health Service (NHS) England has published a new guidance that will improve the management of conflicts of interest and make sure that the NHS is a world leader for transparent and liable healthcare.
The new guidance will let medical staff to take small tokens of appreciation like a box of chocolates from patients but will require them to drop anything that could be seen to affect their professional judgement. Gifts worth over £50, received on behalf of organisations, will need to be declared. It will also be standard practice for NHS promises to take priority over private practice, and for any clinical or non-clinical staff to declare outside work and the details of when and where this takes place although not earnings at this stage.
From June 2017, the new guidance will come into force and will reflect the feedback received and if endorsed.
Here are listed some measures included in the new guidance:
NHS England launched a six-week consultation in September last year for all interested parties to make their voices heard about proposals which cover hospitality, outside employment and private practice, gifts, sponsorship and other interests.
The Chief Executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson welcomes the new guidance and said that the NHS Providers understand the need to bring greater unity and consistency to how the health service handles conflicts and potential conflicts of interest.
The Chairman of NHS England, Sir Malcolm Grant said the NHS have invited comment from the patients, public, NHS staff and other stakeholders on their proposals and have performed on what they have told NHS to do. This new guidance will bring a stable approach to conflicts of interest and guarantee that the public can have faith in the honesty of the NHS.
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