Last week, I mentioned conflict of interest involving the health service and specifically mentioned MPs and a couple of individuals. They, however, are not alone: many senior staff work for the NHS and yet have interests, or are closely related to people having interests, in health service providers. Of course, this can bring valued expertise into the NHS from outside. On the other hand, it can lead to a question of conflict of interest. What do you think? Should someone be employed by the NHS in a position where they can direct business to a private firm where they, or a close relative, has a financial interest?
For many years, there has been a certain amount of movement of people from private industry to government and vice versa. When well controlled, it is beneficial to both. However, it can too easily cross a hazy border and become incestuous, or go even further and encourage corruption. The New Model NHS has encouraged such movement. Here are a few examples. I leave it to you to decide where on the spectrum running from valuable synergy to unwise through potential conflict of interest and on to unacceptable corruption you would place them.
I was at the Square in Barnstaple on Saturday when the bikers had their protest against the lenient sentence handed down to Aiden Platt’s killer.
There are a couple of events coming up this Saturday 11th March that I would like to remind you of.
T. S. Eliot wrote that April is the cruellest month. With respect, I would disagree: February deserves that accolade far more than does April. As with January, we are still suffering the depressing weather, lack of sunlight and aftermath of the joys of Christmas and the New Year. The weather will have been, at best cold and damp, but we are just beginning to see hints of Spring in the garden.