Standards of Business Conduct

Ambulance on motorway

Working for the NHS means that we must be able to show that we operate with impartiality, honesty and integrity. It is also about making sure that we use our NHS monies wisely and in the interests of our patients.

To support us being able to do this, we have a, Standards of Business Conduct policy, which we have recently updated. You may wish to take a look and see if there are any changes that apply to you or your team. The policy clarifies our approach to receiving gifts, hospitality and declaring interests that may jeopardise our impartiality.

Generally, a ‘conflict of interest’ is when an individual's personal interests – family, friendships, financial, or social factors – could compromise their judgment, decisions or actions in the workplace. Regardless of your role, if you suspect you may have a conflict of interest, which includes secondary employment, personal relationships, memberships and voluntary work, you need to make a declaration.

The process for doing this is fully outlined in the policy, which includes completing a declaration of interest form and returning to Esther Kingsmill, Deputy Head of Corporate Governance. Usually, when a declaration is made, it wont stop you continuing with whatever has been declared, but depending on its nature, we may need to consider the implications for you and the Trust.

If you are in a management or decision-making role, including those with budgetary authority, you are required to submit a declaration. This may be a NIL (nothing to declare) return.

Over recent months, many goodwill gestures have been made by patients and the public to show their appreciation of the service we deliver. This is, of course, very well deserved, but we must consider if the gift are offered as an attempt to influence the way we act or if it could be seen as a way of casting doubt on our decisions and integrity.

We believe that it is therefore not appropriate to accept personal gifts or money and that all gifts received must be declared. Under no circumstances should staff or teams be soliciting gifts, this includes the creation of ‘wishlists’. This process is fully outlined in the, Standards of Business Conduct policy.

 Regardless of role, we must uphold standards of business conduct. If you have any questions or require clarity on any of these matters please contact the Governance Team who will be happy to help.

Click here for the policy.

Published 24th May 2021