The Bribery Act (2010) makes it a criminal offence to offer, promise or give a bribe. It is also an offence to request, agree to receive or receive a bribe.
Any money, gift or consideration received by an employee in public service from a person or organisation holding or seeking to obtain a contract will be deemed by the courts to have been received corruptly, unless the employee proves the contrary.
The Standards of Business Conduct Policy outlines the potential circumstances in which a member of staff could fall within the remit of the Act, including conflicts of interest, selecting suppliers for purchasing, receipt of hospitality and/or gifts and provides detail on the trust gifts and hospitality register.
Zero tolerance stance
The trust board has adopted a zero tolerance stance towards bribery and corruption and has issued the following statement:
“North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust provides a secure environment in which to work, and one where staff or contractors are confident to raise concerns about incidents, behaviours or risks without worrying that it will reflect badly on them. This commitment extends to ensuring that people are not placed in a vulnerable position at work and promotes a corporate commitment to addressing all reasonable concerns.”
The trust wants all employees to feel confident that they can expose any wrongdoing without any risk to themselves. It also fully supports integrated local counter fraud work which supports embedded awareness, and factors risk treatment into wider continual business improvement processes.
In accordance with the provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has produced a disclosure of concerns policy.
The policy incorporates the values of the NHS constitution in relation to protection from detriment, in relation to whistleblowing.
The trust strives for a culture of openness and, as a result, all cases where a concern is disclosed (whistleblowing) will be taken seriously and dealt with sensitively and in confidence.
Staff should report any suspicions or allegations of bribery immediately to either their line manager (if appropriate) or by the trust disclosure of concerns policy and procedure.Further advice can be obtained by the NHS Fraud and Corruption website of by phoning their reporting line on 0800 028 40 60.