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Doctors: Private Sector

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 271509, tabled on 1 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) identify and (b) mitigate against any conflict of interest by NHS consultants referring patients to private hospitals in which those consultants have an interest.

Answered on

4 July 2019

NHS England guidance makes clear that all National Health Service staff, including consultants should declare all private practice on appointment, and/or any new private practice when it arises. Where clinical private practice gives rise to a conflict of interest then the general management actions outlined in guidance should be considered and applied to mitigate risks

In addition, the General Medical Council is the independent regulator of doctors in the United Kingdom and sets the professional standards that all doctors must follow to practice in the UK. Doctors planning to refer a patient to an organisation in which they have a financial or commercial interest must tell the patient about that interest and make a note of this in the patient’s medical record. Doctors must be prepared to explain and justify their decisions and actions. Serious or persistent failure to follow this guidance will put their registration at risk

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