NHS England Managing Conflicts of Interest in the NHS

The Royal College of Anaesthetists has offered comments to the consultation by NHS England’s new proposals on managing conflicts of interest in the NHS.

Although we agree with the scope of this initiative and acknowledge that better definitions of ‘conflicts of interest’ for NHS employees are required, we feel that the proposals focus too much on private practice, whereas the focus should be on all outside activities which may detract from NHS work.

We also disagree that clinicians should declare the value of their earnings from private practice. This should only be disclosed if there are concerns about performance and possible conflicts with NHS work. We have proposed that it may be more meaningful for clinicians to declare the amount of hours per week dedicated to private practice, rather than their earnings.

There is also the risk that publishing figures on private practice earnings will alter the pattern of recruitment, both by specialty and by region. The current cohort of junior doctors is saddled with debt, in a way that previous generations were not, and undertaking private practice will assume an increased importance to them. Revealing the earning potentials of different careers will influence career choice and will dissuade young doctors from careers with low private practice potential.

You can read the full response here. 

23 October 2016

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