Two years ago, on 9th February 2017, NHS England issued new guidance on managing conflicts of interest in the NHS. Initially known as the sunshine rule, this followed an investigation in 2015 that found cases and serious risks of corruption in the NHS with regard to the receipt of gifts, hospitality and sponsorship that could unduly influence decisions and awards of contracts.
Last week the HSJ highlighted how, more than a year on from the release of new NHS England guidelines on conflicts of interest, only 5% of NHS Trusts are publishing their register of interests for senior staff.
Earlier this week there was the first of two judicial reviews into the planned introduction of Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) as part of the ever-evolving NHS architecture. For those of you struggling to keep up to date with the changing language – STPs (P is for plans) became STPs (P is for Partnerships) became ACOs which have now morphed into ICSs (Integrated Care Systems) but are also still being referred to as ACOs … I think.