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Fraud & Misconduct

Appropriate governance systems (and supporting policies) should be in place within every NHS organisation that sponsors and/or conducts health research to detect and investigate possible scientific misconduct1, research misconduct2 or fraud3 by Trust employees, or staff who have been issued with honorary contracts/letters of access or others who are making use of Trust resources.

All NHS employees, honorary staff, students and other researchers making use of Trust resources are expected to conduct research to the highest standards applicable. Allegations of scientific/research misconduct or fraud will be taken very seriously and appropriate action will be taken if the allegations are substantiated.

For research sponsored by a Noclor partner, there will be a contract in place between the sponsor and the other party which will specify how fraud and misconduct should be dealt with in respect to the particular research project. The contract will take precedence where it specifies different procedures from those set out in the local Trust policies. It is also important to note that where possible misconduct/fraud has been identified in a clinical trial which falls within in the scope of The Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004 (SI 1031) it is (likely) going to need reporting to the Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as a serious breach within the required timeframes (i.e reported within 7 calendar days of the sponsor becoming first aware).

Allegations of scientific/research misconduct or fraud that will require further investigation may be picked in the following ways:

 
The relevant Trust (and Noclor where a Noclor partner is sponsor) will take appropriate action where an allegation of scientific/research misconduct or fraud is substantiated.

[1] The MRC Scientific Misconduct Policy and Procedure, 14 Apr 2009. Scientific Misconduct means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or deception in proposing, carrying out or reporting results of research and deliberate, dangerous or negligent deviations from accepted practice in carrying out research. It includes failure to follow established protocols if this failure results in unreasonable risk or harm to humans, other vertebrates or the environment and facilitating of misconduct in research by collusion in, or concealment of, such actions by others. It does not include honest error or honest differences in the design, execution, interpretation or judgment in evaluating research methods or results or misconduct (including gross misconduct) unrelated to the research process.

[2] Research misconduct would be for example, failure of researcher in obtaining ethical approval/NHS permission, conducting research within the scope of The Directive without CTA, failure to take consent and falsifying results.

[3] Fraud Act 2006. This Act provides for a general offence of fraud with three ways of committing it, which are by false representation, by failing to disclose information and by abuse of position.