Press release 01st May 2020

PPE conflict of interest allegations highlight corruption risks in the NHS

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1 May, London – An investigation by The Guardian, which alleges a senior procurement official for the NHS in London was running a private business to facilitate the private sale of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for a profit, highlights major gaps in checks against conflicts of interest in the health service.

Steve Goodrich, Senior Research Manager at Transparency International UK said:

“When you enter public office you are there to serve the national interest. Those entrusted with a position of power should not exploit it for their own personal profit, especially in a time of crisis. There should be zero tolerance for anyone abusing their authority for private gain.

It’s easy to assume that this sort of thing couldn’t happen in the UK, but unfortunately there’s mounting evidence to suggest there are insufficient checks against conflicts of interest in the NHS. Lax governance and poor institutional design has left the door open for unscrupulous individuals to profit at the public’s expense. We hope this case is a wake-up call for those who have turned a blind eye to this accident waiting to happen.”