Climbdown on NHS conflict of interest rules as doctors told they will not have to declare private earnings

Doctors will not have to declare their private earnings, health officials have ruled, in a climbdown on NHS conflict of interest rules.

Health officials were considering requiring every health service doctor to set out details of all earnings from private work.

But today the board of NHS England agreed that medics will simply have to say when and where they take on such duties – and not on how much they earn from them.

The public rightly expects NHS staff to behave appropriately and use the healthcare budget to achieve the best outcomes for patientsSir Malcolm Grant

The new rules on conflicts of interest also mean all gifts over £50 have to be declared.

The guidance will permit staff, such as nurses, to receive a box of chocolates or other small tokens of gratitude from patients but will require them to decline anything that could be seen to affect their professional judgement, officials said.

NHS England said the new guidance due to take effect in June, followed feedback during a consultation.

It was drawn up by a group including  the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Under the rules, doctors working for the NHS will have to commit to making the health service their priority.

Full story in The Telegraph, 9 February 2017