14th February 2020
Nick Goodman, Managing Director - Engagement Solutions at Civica, explores how cloud software is transforming the management of conflicts of interest and outlines five key benefits for NHS organisations
It’s 5 years since a journalist investigation raised serious questions relating to relationships between small numbers of healthcare professionals and suppliers, particularly pharmaceutical companies. We are now approaching the 3-year anniversary of NHS England introducing mandatory guidance on how NHS organisations collect and report on potential conflict of interests – designed to ensure that health bodies and their staff make decisions and choices that are transparent.
The guidance came into effect in March 2017 and since then all NHS staff have had to declare any interests, gifts or gains. ‘Decision-making’ staff make a ‘nil return’ if there is no potential conflict in that financial year. Furthermore, decision-making staff must have all their declarations reported and published.
The guidance had the potential for creating a significant amount of new workload and cost for Trusts, CCGs and other NHS organisations. Time is dedicated to issuing requests and reminders, collecting responses, data entering those responses, contacting new starters, updating leavers, updating an organisation’s website, dealing with FOI requests and so on.
In response, Civica Engagement Solutions developed innovative tools and services to help find efficiencies and control the expense on administrative functions. We identify these needs and co-develop our offerings in partnership with our customers.
This customer-focused approach led to the development of our Civica Declare platform, following a customer request in 2016 to assist them with the anticipated changes in requirements.
Five key benefits of Civica Declare
- Civica Declare is built specifically for the sector’s needs, enabling our customers to meet the NHS England guidance in full. The cloud-based platform is configured to your organisation’s needs, with bespoke tabs and reports. Ongoing development and co-design with all our customers ensures the platform meets your needs, and anticipates further application and demands in the future.
- Civica Declare delivers tangible time and cost savings through increased efficiencies and automation of time-consuming administrative tasks. As a Trust, Civica Declare enables you to meet the requirements in full and achieve savings of up to £55,000 per year (£15,000 for CCGs).
- Civica Declare is designed with users in mind. It is easily accessible on PC, laptop or smartphone, and has easy navigation for all user types: employee, administrator or visitor/media.
- Civica Declare can be up and running in just 4 weeks – in good time for the new 20/21 financial year.
- Our business is built on 3 core building blocks: security, great system design and collaboration with customers. We work as an extension to your team, providing the best service to you.
Four years on from the initial development of the cloud-based platform, Civica Declare is now the trusted solution for nearly 50 NHS organisations. It has transformed how they manage conflicts of interest declarations, delivering significant efficiencies while ensuring they meet the NHS England guidance in full.
Through our ongoing development programme, in partnership with our customers, we will continue to introduce innovative features to ensure that Civica Declare helps our customers to meet the requirements, while delivering further benefits to all users in the future.