Regulatory bodies unite to crack down on conflicts of interest

Written by: | Published:

Ever been worried you're crossing the line? Ever been worried you're crossing the line?

Nurses must put the interests of the people in their care ahead of their own, according to new guidance from all medical statutory regulators in the UK.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) was joined by organisations such as the General Medical Council, the Health and Care Professions Council, and the General Pharmaceutical Council in publishing a joint statement cracking down on conflicts of interest.

READ MORE: New fitness-to-practice regulation comes into force

It urges nurses, along with other healthcare professionals, to ‘consider carefully where conflicts of interest may arise – or be perceived to arise – and seek advice if they are unsure how to handle this’.

While the standards and codes of all organisations related to conflicts of interest remain definitive, the statement is intended as a unifying baseline for standards.

READ MORE: Nurses urged to engage on advisory committee policy

The statement reads: ‘We believe that given the increasing move towards multi-disciplinary teams, there is great value in working together for a consistent approach. We will promote this joint statement to our registrants, students, and to the public, to ensure they all know what we expect.

‘We will encourage all registrants to reflect on their own learning and continuing professional development needs regarding conflicts of interest. Conflicts can arise in situations where someone’s judgement may be influenced, or perceived to be influenced, by a personal, financial or other interest.’

READ MORE: Nurses 'more proactive and thoughtful' after one year of revalidation

Overall, the new guidance expects health and social care professionals to:

  • Put the interests of people in their care before their own interests, or those of any colleague, business, organisation, close family member or friend.
  • Maintain appropriate personal and professional boundaries with the people they provide care to and with others.
  • Consider carefully where conflicts of interest may arise – or be perceived to arise – and seek advice if they are unsure how to handle this.
  • Be open about any conflict of interest they face, declaring it formally when appropriate and as early as possible, in line with the policies of their employer or the organisation contracting their services.
  • Ensure their professional judgement is not compromised by personal, financial or commercial interests, incentives, targets or similar measures.
  • Refuse all but the most trivial gifts, favours or hospitality if accepting them could be interpreted as an attempt to gain preferential treatment or would contravene your professional code of practice.
  • Where appropriate, ensure that patients have access to visible and easy-to-understand information on any fees and charging policies for which you are responsible.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.