Responding to the BMJ investigation into payments to CCGs from private companies and charities, and how those payments are disclosed we issued the following statement:
“Managing conflicts of interest in the NHS is not new. CCGs must have strong governance plans in place to maintain confidence in the probity of their own commissioning and how they are spending the NHS pound. NHS England have set out some very clear guidelines on managing conflicts of interest and as statutory bodies, CCGs have a clear responsibility to work within those guidelines.
This BMJ investigation seems to imply that there is some wrong doing on the part of CCGs by working with external companies and pharmaceutical organisations, which we would strongly challenge. The NHS England guidance is clear, as are we, of the benefits to NHS staff and patients of securing the right kind of sponsorship for learning, development and networking opportunities. Having the ability to offset some or all of the costs of these types of activity, managed in the right way and following due process, means that CCGs can continue to make the best use of their limited budgets for frontline services for patients.”
4 January 2018