CCGs failing to declare conflicts of interest

According to a report published by the BMJ (2018;360:j5915), CCGs in England are often failing to declare sources of funding in their public registers. Since March 2013, CCGs have been required by law to declare any conflicts of interest and to publish these in their registers.

Together with researchers at the University of Bath, England, and Lund University, Sweden, the BMJ investigated payments to CCGs from both private companies and charities in 2015–2016. Using data collected from all 207 CCGs in England under freedom of information legislation, they found that only two-thirds of payments had been listed in CCGs’ public registers, with a total of 1570 payments being undeclared. At least £5,027,818 of payments were identified by the researchers in response to their freedom of information request; however, the total value of payments listed in the public registers was just £1,283,767.

Nine CCGs accounted for half of all payments received from private companies and charities, and 73% of all funding was for sponsorship of education and training events. Statutory guidance for CCGs on managing conflicts of interest, including the need to declare involvement of a sponsor in an event, was updated by NHS England in June 2017.

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