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Statement on conflicts of interest and private practice

22 Sep 2016

Responding to NHS England’s consultation on proposals to strengthen the management of conflicts of interest, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Surgeons said:

“We support transparency and the broad principles about providing guidance to medical professionals and the NHS in managing potential conflicts of interest in the workplace. The RCS upholds the high standards of conduct and probity set out in our publication Good Surgical Practice .The College is well aware that the vast majority of consultants make a commitment to the NHS well beyond their contractual obligations.

In that context, it is difficult to understand what would be gained from publishing private practice income. It is of course right that doctors should avoid encouraging NHS patients to go privately or to be seen to profit unduly from NHS work that is transferred to the private sector. These can be dealt with in other ways rather than income declaration. There is a risk this sends a message to doctors and dentists that they are not trusted by the NHS. We remain to be convinced that this specific proposal on declaring income is sensible.”

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

For more information, please contact the Press Office:

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