NHS Ayrshire and Arran: Register of Interests for staff – “discussions are ongoing”

Sent: 20 February 2015 14:01
Subject: NHS A&A response to – FOI – Compliance with HDL (2003) 62 – our ref 528/2014

Dear Dr Gordon,
Again, please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused by the delay in responding to your enquiry. Leave commitments of the specialised staff tasked with responding to your request and other events outwith our control have lead to the delay in responding to your request timeously.

Our response in 2013 stated that the organisation was working on compiling a register of interests and register of gifts/hospitality to encompass all staff which would also include payments from pharmaceutical companies.  At the time of your request we already had a ‘declaration of interests’ register for the Area and Drugs Therapeutics Committee to ensure any conflict of interests were registered for decision making around drugs. We had advised at the time of your request that the ‘the Area and Drugs Therapeutics Committee’ were hoping to publish this register in the future. Please see our full 2013 response below:

Discussions are ongoing to create a register to encompass the whole organisation in line with the guidance – A Common Understanding 2012 working together for patients -guidance on joint working between NHSScotland and the Pharmaceutical Industry.

The attached ‘declaration of interests’ register relates to the Area and Drugs Therapeutics Committee, its sub groups and anyone submitting a guideline. We are in the process of updating our Model Publication Scheme to include this register which will be published on our public website.

Since sending our response a decision has been taken not to publish this register.  Please accept my apologies for not fulfilling the assurance to publish the Area and Drugs Therapeutics Committee ‘declaration of interests’ register. However, this was superseded by the register of interest for all staff and the requirement under the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.

Section C ‘Standards of Business Conduct’ within the Code of Corporate Governance paragraph. 3.3 states “Where there is an interest, hospitality or relevant outside employment is declared to a manager, they must record that declaration in the employee’s personal file together with any instructions issued to the member of staff in relation to the declaration. This information must also be provided to the Corporate Business Manager to be recorded as part of the Board’s declaration of interests and gifts.”  This register is held by the Corporate Business Manager who is responsible for keeping and maintaining it.  From November 2014 Section C is also included within any contractual paper work for new employees to the organisation. The Chief Executive has also circulated communication to ask employees to ensure they are notifying their line manager and the Corporate Business Manager of any declarations.

We are not at present planning to publish this on our website. As, under part three of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 (the Act), we have a duty to provide information on hospitality and entertainment. This includes any gifts, meals, parties, reception, tickets for or invitations to public, sporting, cultural or other events or other similar benefits accorded by a public body to its own members, employees or third parties for whatever reason. A threshold of £25 for “one off” gifts or benefits has been set as reasonable for this purpose, provided that the gifts or benefits in question are not regular or recurring. If a different threshold is adopted it should be set out in the statement of expenditure.

This information is routinely published as a requirement of the Act as soon as reasonably practical after the year-end. Please follow the link http://www.nhsaaa.net/publications/public-services-reform-(scotland)-act-2010.aspx. Or go to our website, http://www.nhsaaa.net/ click on the ‘publications’ button and select ‘a’ and scroll down to ‘Accounts/financial information.

I trust this response is helpful. However, under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 if you are dissatisfied with our response you are entitled to request a review. A request for a review must be made in writing to Mrs Jillian Neilson, Head of Information Governance, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, 14 Lister Street, University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock, KA2 0BB or email InformationGovernance@aapct.scot.nhs.uk, no later than 40 working days from 23 February 2015. You must provide your name, an address for correspondence, details of your original request and say why you want a review. If our decision is unchanged following a review and you remain dissatisfied with this, you then have the right to make a formal appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further advice or assistance.

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information Officer
Communications dept
28a Lister Street
University Hospital Crosshouse
Kilmarnock
KA2 0BE

Email: foi@aaaht.scot.nhs.uk

www.nhsaaa.net

Previous blog posts on Ayrshire & Arran Register of Interests:

http://wp.me/p3fTIB-p5

http://wp.me/p3fTIB-E8

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