Following a string of allegations against potential conflicts of interest in Clinical Commissioning Group contract awards,
NHS England has announced a shake-up of its policy within the health service.
Incoming changes include new positions for ‘conflicts of interest guardians’, strengthened statutory guidance and a new cross-system task group chaired by NHS England chairman Sir Malcolm Grant.
These reforms are the result of months of discussions with senior leaders in CCGs, internal audit colleagues and NHS England’s legal team. The organisation will kick off a four-week consultation during April and will take final guidance to its board in May, with a view to publish it in early June.
CCGs will then be required to review and change their processes in line with updated guidance by the end of November.
Part of the core proposals will require the introduction of a conflicts of interest guardian in all CCGs, a role undertaken by CCG audit chairs and an “important point of contact for any conflicts of interest queries and issues”.
Justifying the new role, NHS England’s national director for commissioning strategy, Ian Dodge, said in a board paper: “We recognise that conflicts of interest come in different guises, and that responses to them need to be tailored. By introducing a conflicts of interest guardian, we will strengthen expertise in the CCG and ensure there is a clearer point of contact for any issues which should lead to firmer and more consistent decision-making.”
To read the article by NHE