Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commisioning Group

Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commisioning Group

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Conflict of interest

A Conflict of Interest can be defined as a situation that arises when a person that has a private or personal interest significant enough to influence the way they make a decision.

Conflicts of Interest can appear in the work of CCGs in a variety of ways. For example, the CCG may wish to commission a service based at a GP surgery. This would be more convenient for patients and cheaper than treatment in hospital. At the same time, the GP practice would have a financial interest in becoming the provider of this service. So if members of the practice became involved in the process of deciding to commission or awarding the service, then they would be potentially conflicted. It would not be clear that they favoured the decision because of the convenience of patients rather than their own financial gain so would be removed from any decision where there is a conflict of interest.

Our Standards of Business Conduct and Declarations of Interest Policy is designed to ensure that potential conflicts are identified and managed appropriately. To assist us in managing the policy, we have recently appointed a Conflicts of Interest Guardian.

CCG Lay Member, Michael Burke, has taken on the role of Conflicts of Interest Guardian. Michael will be on hand to provide advice and support on how to apply the conflicts of interest policy, as well as acting as a point of contact for GP practice staff, members of the public and healthcare professionals to raise any concerns with regards to conflict of interest.

In addition, in line with our ‘whistle blowing’ policy, Dr Bill Cunliffe, our Secondary Care Clinician, has become our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. Dr Cunliffe will  act as a point of contact for members of staff who want to raise any issue of concern, including conflict of interest concerns, but who don’t feel able or comfortable to approach their own line manager.