A Common Understanding, Guidance on Joint-working between NHSScotland and the Pharmaceutical Industry, was published by the then Scottish Executive in 2003 and was the first guidance on joint-working between NHSScotland and the pharmaceutical industry.
One of the governing principles of NHSScotland involves the recognition that a modern, clinically effective Health Service should include effective co-operation with others in order to deliver the Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHSScotland. All joint-working must be for the benefit of patients but may also be of mutual benefit to the organisations concerned. The relationship between the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry should therefore be built on mutual respect and trust.
Joint-working is defined as involving: “Situations where, for the benefit of patients, organisations pool skills, experience and/or resources for the joint development and implementation of patient-centred projects and share a commitment to their successful delivery.”
This guidance aims to encourage innovation in joint-working by highlighting examples of good practice and the establishment of a model joint-working framework that will help ensure common understanding, responsibility, transparency and probity in the process.
NHS Circular MEL (1994) 48, entitled Standards of Business Conduct for NHS Staff, specified the general standards which should be maintained by all staff working in the NHS. All health professionals including independent contractors and locum practitioners working under NHS terms and conditions are covered by the circular. Healthcare professions shall continue to be bound by the codes and standards of their regulators and professions.
Guidance on collaboration between healthcare professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has been produced by senior representatives of the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare community. All staff should familiarise themselves with this guidance which can be found at:
Case Study 4: MRSA CSSTI (COMPLICATED SKIN AND SOFT TISSUE INFECTION) MANAGEMENT EVALUATION – NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Pfizer
“We recognised before this study was undertaken that there was the theoretical potential for earlier discharge of patients with MRSA CSSTI, either on oral antibiotics or utilising our OPAT (Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy) services. .... This project provided us the opportunity to gather the data we needed to answer that question.”
Professor John E Coia, Consultant Clinical Microbiologist, Director Scottish Microbiology Reference Laboratories, Glasgow
Email: Martin Moffat
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