The Department of Health has asked TPP, a supplier to the Department of Health and the NHS, about its offer of “tea at The Ritz” or two tickets to a West End show to GP leaders in return for helping to organise an event that would give the company a chance to demonstrate its systems.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: "We were made aware and asked the supplier about this activity. The supplier has subsequently confirmed that they have ceased offering incentives to GPs.”
Parts of the NHS have clearly-defined rules on the acceptance of gifts or hospitality. NHS Sheffield tells its staff:
“All offers of hospitality should be approached with caution. Modest hospitality, for example, a drink and sandwich during a visit or a working lunch is normal and reasonable and does not require approval of a manager. Offers of hospitality relating to theatre evenings, sporting fixtures, or holiday accommodation, or other hospitality must be declined ”
I asked CSC, which supplies TPP SystmOne under the National Programme for IT [NPfIT, whether it was aware of the incentives and whether it, or TPP, wished to comment.
“Because we are in active negotiations with the government, we are not able to comment in depth on the programme until those negotiations have concluded,” said a CSC spokeswoman who said that the same applied to TPP as “they are a supplier to us working on the National Programme”.