Winter pressures prompts relaxation of QOF requirements in Wales

Winter pressures prompts relaxation of QOF requirements in Wales

January 9 2018 GPs in Wales will be able forego the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) element...

ABPI responds to BMJ article on CCGs not declaring all funding from private organisations

ABPI responds to BMJ article on CCGs not declaring all funding from private organisations

January 8 2018 The BMJ has been criticised for the tone taken in its article highlighting how...

CCGs failed to disclose £3.7m in payments and gifts from private companies

CCGs failed to disclose £3.7m in payments and gifts from private companies

January 4 2018 Clinical commissioning groups failed to declare three quarters of the value of...

General practice payments increase 5.9% in Scotland in 2016-17

General practice payments increase 5.9% in Scotland in 2016-17

November 13 2017 Payments to Scotland’s 966 general practices rose to £798.4 million...

  • Winter pressures prompts relaxation of QOF requirements in Wales

    Winter pressures prompts relaxation of QOF requirements in Wales

    Tuesday, 09 January 2018 11:53
  • ABPI responds to BMJ article on CCGs not declaring all funding from private organisations

    ABPI responds to BMJ article on CCGs not declaring all funding from private organisations

    Monday, 08 January 2018 14:22
  • CCGs failed to disclose £3.7m in payments and gifts from private companies

    CCGs failed to disclose £3.7m in payments and gifts from private companies

    Thursday, 04 January 2018 12:14
  • General practice payments increase 5.9% in Scotland in 2016-17

    General practice payments increase 5.9% in Scotland in 2016-17

    Monday, 13 November 2017 10:32

a board meeting imageJanuary 4 2018

Clinical commissioning groups failed to declare three quarters of the value of payments and gifts received from private organisations, the BMJ has reported.

Responses from all 207 CCGs in England to freedom of information requests revealed that “only two thirds of the 4,600 payments—and just over a quarter of the value—that CCGs accepted from private companies and charities in 2015-16 and 2016-17 were listed in registers or declarations published by the CCGs.”

The BMJ investigation calculated that the total monetary value of payments identified in CCGs’ publicly available registers for 2015 and 2016 or the tax years 2015-16 and 2016-17 was £1,283,767. However, “at least £5,027,818 has been identified in the payments listed in responses to The BMJ’s freedom of information request.” Nine CCGs accounted for half the number of payments received.

Among the gifts accepted and not declared on the registers were tickets to a Beyoncé concert, an England cricket match, and a football club’s awards ceremony, and Manchester United VIP packages.

The article points out that NHS England updated statutory guidance for CCGs on managing conflicts of interest in June 2017. The guidance now includes a section on how CCGs should handle sponsored events, saying that involvement of a sponsor in an event should always be clearly identified. The FoI data collected for the BMJ investigation runs up to March 2017, predating the update to NHS England’s guidance.

To compile its report, the BMJ has worked with researchers from the University of Bath and Lund University in Sweden. The researchers intend to publish the full findings of their research in the coming months. One of the Bath researchers, Dr Piotr Ozieranski, commented: “It seems rather peculiar that CCGs are permitted to accept any payments or benefits in kind from private sector companies.”

Data indicates that 73% of the funding from drug companies was for sponsorship of education and training events. CCGs had also outsourced the logistics of arranging event sponsorship to hospital trusts and private companies and sought funding from drug companies to support internal meetings.

“After event sponsorship the largest proportion of funding from drug companies to CCGs is for projects, around 19% of the total funding, the results show. One such project was undertaken by NHS Southwark CCG, with £24,000 in funding provided by Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Pfizer. Information about the project’s funding was not published in the CCG’s registers,” said the BMJ.

The response given by NHS Southwark CCG and published in the report says: “Details of payments for educational grants are available to anyone who wishes to submit a request for information through the freedom of information route.”

Professor Paul Glasziou at the Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice at Bond University in Australia, has said that doctors are often unaware of the effect of drug companies’ activities on their own behaviour. “Pharmaceutical company dominance of the funding of continuing medical education can result in prescribing that harms.”

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry is quoted, saying that drug companies have an important role in supporting healthcare organisations and they “share an ambition with the NHS to see greater transparency and disclosure of information around industry support to healthcare organisations and professionals.”

Link:
T Moberly. ‘The pharma deals that CCGs fail to declare’. BMJ 2018. 360: j5915. Published online January 4 2018                   

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