Bribery may be considered to be: “An inducement or reward offered, promised or provided to someone to perform their functions or activities improperly in order to gain a personal, commercial, regulatory and/or contractual advantage.”

Bribery is a criminal offence. Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust does not, and will not, pay bribes or offer improper inducements to anyone for any purpose; nor do we, or will we, accept bribes or improper inducements.

This approach applies to everyone who works for us, or with us.  We do not, and will not, engage indirectly in, or otherwise encourage, bribery.

Proactively combating bribery has clear benefits for the Trust and the wider NHS.

It helps prevent:

  • adverse damage to or criticism of the organisation’s reputation and funding;
  • the potential diversion and/or loss of resources from NHS care;
  • unforeseen and unbudgeted costs of investigations and/or defence of any legal action; and
  • a negative impact on patient/stakeholder perceptions.

The Bribery Act includes specific criminal offences for those engaging in bribery which carry custodial sentences of up to 10 years and potentially unlimited fines.

These offences include the use of a third party as a conduit to channel bribes to others.

The Act also introduced a corporate offence which means that the Trust will be exposed to criminal liability, punishable by an unlimited fine, for failing to prevent bribery.

Colin Martin, Director of Finance, is the Executive Director with responsibility for taking an oversight of combatting bribery.

Any instance of suspected bribery should be reported using the Trust’s raising concerns process.

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