NHS Borders – Register of Interests

Although undated, this was the reply from NHS Borders, received on 17 June 2013

Freedom of Information request 167-13

Response
The Board Secretary maintains a Register of Interests for the NHS Borders Board members. The Register is audited on an annual basis by the Board’s External Auditors. (2012/13 Scott Moncrieff). These declarations are published on the NHS Borders website at http://www.nhsborders.org.uk/nhs-borders-board-members/register-of-interests

Formal meetings held within the organisation minute ‘Declarations of Interest’ from meeting attendees as a standing meeting agenda item. The minutes will be held by the individual meeting secretary.

NHS Borders Code of Corporate Governance, Section C – Standards of business conduct for NHS staff, sets out employees responsibilities and includes instructions on reporting gifts, hospitality and any other interests to their line manager for inclusion on the Corporate Register of Interests. It states:

Staff should not:
Accept any gifts, inducements or inappropriate hospitality which will place them in a position of conflict between their private interest and that required of their NHS
duties; and

5. Gifts
Gifts, which could place an individual in a position of conflict, between their private
interests and that required in their NHS duties should be declined. MEL (1994) 48
provides that staff may accept gifts of low intrinsic value or small tokens of gratitude
(such as diaries or calendars). NHS Borders has set an acceptable level of £20. If in
doubt, staff must contact their line manager before acceptance.

All gifts accepted within the limit by staff must be declared to their line manager.
Managers should on a regular basis provide this information to the Board Secretary for recording in the Register of Gifts and Hospitality.

6. Hospitality
Staff may accept modest hospitality, provided that it is normal and reasonable in the
circumstances, e.g. lunches in the course of working visits, may be acceptable,
though it should be similar to the scale of hospitality which the NHS as an employer
would be likely to offer. NHS Borders has set an acceptable limit of £25 per employee
per lunch. Staff should decline all other offers of hospitality. If in doubt, staff should
seek advice from their line manager.

All hospitality accepted within the limit by staff must be declared to their line manager.
Managers should on a regular basis provide this information to the Board Secretary for recording in the Register of Gifts and Hospitality.

To date there have been no submissions from staff to the register.

In specific instances where employees have secured sponsorship funding from external organisations, including pharmaceutical companies, an acceptance disclaimer has been completed and signed by both parties ensuring the external organisation understands NHS Borders will treat any monies received as a gift and will have no obligation to that organisation.

If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled or the decision given, you may ask NHS Borders to review its actions and the decision. If you would like to request a review please apply in writing to, Freedom of Information Review, Communications, Performance & Planning, NHS Borders, Newstead, Melrose, TD6 9DA or foi.enquiries@borders.scot.nhs.uk.

Full correspondence with NHS Borders can be found here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/register_of_payments_from_pharma_154#outgoing-280402

This is what Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing says on this matter:

Alex-Neil-on-Reg-of-Interes

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