The General Pharmaceutical Council and the other eight regulators of health and care professionals have signed a joint statement setting out guidance on what is expected of all healthcare professionals in relation to avoiding, declaring and managing conflicts of interest across all healthcare settings.

The statement is intended to support each regulator’s professional standards, codes and guidance, which, the statement says, “should be the overriding consideration for professionals”.

Among the expectations outlined, the joint statement says healthcare professionals should “refuse all but the most trivial gifts, favours or hospitality” if accepting them could be seen as an attempt to gain preferential treatment or could go against their professional code of practice.

The statement also includes the following expectations of healthcare professionals:

  • Put the interests of people in their care before their own or those of any colleague or organisation
  • Consider where potential conflicts of interest may arise and be open about them
  • Be open about, and declare, any conflicts of interest they face
  • Reflect on their own learning and CPD needs regarding conflicts of interest
  • Ensure patients have access to visible information on any fees or charging policies for which they are responsible.

The regulators have published case studies to illustrate these principles.

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