As petitioner for the Sunshine Act I undertook Freedom of Information Requests to all 22 NHS Boards in Scotland to establish if Boards had Registers of Interest for ALL staff. The findings revealed that most Boards did not.
NHS Forth Valley has kept Registers of Interest from 2010 to current date. Following persistent enquiries by myself regarding public transparency these have recently been made available on-line.
This accords with the guidance in HDL 62, issued 2003: “Chief Executives are asked to establish a register of interest for all NHS employees and Primary Care contractors”. For this, and for taking the extra step of ensuring public access to the registers, NHS Forth Valley are to be congratulated.
This blog post encourages you to consider the contents of NHS Forth Valley’s Hospitality Register for 2013 to 2014 as an illustration of the involvement of sponsorship of Continuing Professional Development (“CPD”).
There is now robust research evidence that sponsorship influences clinical practice, no matter how much individual healthcare workers claim to be immune from such influence.
We are all aware of straightened public sector budgets and so it is perhaps not surprising that external sources of finance are welcomed. In fact it would appear that:
“Yes, you’re correct – there is no NHS Forth Valley budget that pays for educational meetings held in the Centre.” Director of Medical Education for NHS Forth Valley, 25th February 2014
I would argue that this is a false economy adding to the risk of over-medicalisation and subsequent harm.
(the following is an example, showing just one page out of seven, from NHS Forth Valley’s Hospitality Register 2013-2014)
*Note, as of last time of checking, 10 December 2014, the current Register has not been updated since I left employment with NHS Forth Valley. This means that there has had no entries in 4 months.