The Bribery Act 2010 makes it a criminal offence to give, promise or offer a bribe, and to request, agree to receive, or accept a bribe. NHS organisations are included in the Bribery Act's definition of a 'relevant commercial organisation' and therefore Trust Board members and all employees associated with the Trust may be liable for corporate or primary bribery offences.
NHS organisations are required to take steps to ensure that their employees and contractors are aware of the standards of conduct expected of them. The Standards of Business Conduct Guidance brings together the considered risk areas, including conflicts of interest, and hospitality and gifts.
The Trust Board has adopted a zero tolerance stance towards bribery and corruption and has issued the following statement:
"Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust's Board of Directors and management recognise that bribery and corruption are damaging. We conduct all our business, in all locations, in an honest and ethical manner and we want to ensure that all our employees and business partners do the same. The Bribery Act 2010 sets clear standards of illegal behaviour which govern not only our operations in the United Kingdom, but which travel with us when our employees represent the Trust overseas. We embrace robust policies and procedures to ensure we are transparent and ethical in all our business dealings. We have a zero tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and we undertake due diligence on third parties with whom we work to ensure they have high ethical standards and our reputation will not be compromised by our assoication with them.
"Please access our Standards of Business Conduct Guidance which sets out the standards we enforce as part of our ongoing commitment to implement adequate procedures to guard against illegal practices. Bribery and corrupt practices can flourish where secrecy and shady environments permit; our culture encourages openness and honesty to combat the threat of corruption. We ask all who have dealings with the Trust, as employees, agents, trading partners, stakeholders and patients, to help us in our fight against corruption and to contact us immediately, via the details set out below, if you have any concerns or suspicions we need to know about."
Report in confidence to the Local Counter Fraud Specialist, Tracy Wheeler email@example.com or 0778 986 8568 / 01752 431378 or via https://cfa.nhs.uk/reportfraud