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NHS plans to crack down on conflicts of interest

NHS doctors will have to declare income from any private practice in new proposals drawn up by NHS England and put out for public consultation on 20 September 2016.

Clinicians will have to supply details about where they practise privately, what work they do and which bracket their gross private income falls into – less than £50,000 a year, less than £100,000 or more than £100,000. Other NHS staff and professionals providing NHS services, including pharmacists, will be required to declare any outside employment where there is any potential for a conflict of interest to arise.

The proposals come from an NHS task force set up to stamp out any potential conflicts of interest in the NHS and to introduce a culture of transparency.

Views are also being sought on the principles behind accepting gifts — anything with a value under £50 does not have to be declared but gifts connected with procurement or service supply should be declined. However, branded items worth less than £6 are acceptable.

Rules around hospitality and sponsorship of individuals, posts and events are also spelt out by the taskforce, led by NHS England chair Sir Malcolm Grant with representatives from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, The BMJ, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the Care Quality Commission and the Local Government Association.

The consultation closes on 31 October 2016. The comments will influence final NHS guidance, which is due to be published at a future date.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201750

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