Navigate to

NHS-R Constitution

Our aims

  • To promote the adoption and use of R in the NHS specifically and the health and care sector more widely.
  • To deliver analytical and training solutions which are developed once and used often, and are feely available.
  • To facilitate the adoption of robust and appropriate analytical techniques which are independent of commercial statistical software packages.
  • To support open source software initiatives generally

Our values

  • The NHS-R Community provides a comprehensive service, available to all and is based on the same values as the NHS.
  • The NHS-R Community is committed to the principles of openness and transparency and collective ownership of analytic solutions.
  • The NHS-R Community aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism.
  • The patient will be at the heart of everything the NHS-R Community does.
  • The NHS-R Community works across organisational boundaries, both public, voluntary, and private sector.
  • The NHS-R Community is committed to providing best value for funders money.
  • The NHS-R Community is accountable to the funder, the steering group, its members, the public, communities and patients that it serves.

Membership policy

Membership is free and open to anyone who aligns with the aims and objectives of the NHS-R Community but is subject to members complying with our code of conduct. Members who fail to comply may be temporarily or permanently barred from the community subject to a review by two independent people from Steering Group and/or TAG.

A key principle of the NHS-R Community is its open source ethos. This means that any activity deemed to be counter to this ethos (eg engaging with the community primarily for commercial interests) is strictly prohibited.

Sponsorship policy

Purpose of the Policy

In order to enhance, vary or reduce the cost of NHS R Community activities, the NHS R Community may enter into sponsorship agreement(s). These may involve the NHS R Community granting sponsorship to a third party or parties in the form of some benefit, or the NHS R Community receiving sponsorship in the form of some benefit from a third party, with the intention in all cases being to support and/or promote the NHS R Community’s activities.

When granting sponsorship, the NHS R Community must also consider the provisions relating to granting financial assistance content in the relevant legislation.

Sponsorship can be advantageous for all parties; however, the NHS R Community must ensure all sponsorship agreements do not compromise or question the integrity and independence of the NHS R Community’s operations.

Objectives and Coverage of the Policy

The Sponsorship Policy outlines the principles and procedures for accepting and granting of sponsorship proposals.  The Policy is concerned with:

  • Assessing risk and managing potential conflicts of interest;
  • Accountability and transparency of decision making;
  • Financial management and benefits.

What is sponsorship?

Sponsorship can be defined as “a business relationship of mutual benefit involving the transference of funds, resources or services from the sponsor to the sponsored party in return for an association and a set of rights which are to the mutual satisfaction of both parties”. Sponsorship is not philanthropic and a sponsor will expect to receive a reciprocal benefit beyond a modest acknowledgement.

Sponsorship is a significant business activity and companies seek sponsorship opportunities for a variety of legitimate business reasons including:

  • to raise the company’s image and public profile;
  • to improve public/community relations and instil goodwill;
  • to show creativity and public spirit;
  • to generate public exposure and media coverage;
  • to differentiate the company from its competitors;
  • to increase profits/market share.

The connection of a company’s name with the NHS R Community’s events or activities can be particularly attractive in terms of the opportunities for media coverage and as a display of public spirit. In some cases, sponsors’ motives, or the benefits the sponsor anticipates, may be less apparent. Careful consideration should always be given to understanding what a sponsor might gain from the arrangement.

The NHS R Community encourages the involvement of the private and voluntary sectors in the sponsorship of NHS R Community activities wherever appropriate. Sponsorship can help exploit the commercial potential of the NHS R Community’s non-tangible assets, allowing more productive use of existing resources and, potentially, reducing the cost of our activities.

Sponsorship should not be confused with advertising which can be defined as “any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified NHS R Community”.

Principles

All sponsorship agreements will be in the form of a written agreement and comply with principles and procedures outlined in this policy.

The Council must consider whether the granting of sponsorship may require consideration of relevant legislation as it may be deemed as ‘financial assistance’.

Sponsorship agreements must include a statement that that the NHS R Community’s functions will continue to be carried out fully and impartially, notwithstanding the existence of a sponsorship arrangement.

There should be no real or apparent conflict between the objectives and mission of the NHS R Community and those of the sponsor.

The agreement will include a statement to the effect that any attempted influence of the NHS R Community’s regulatory functions will result in an automatic review and/or termination of the sponsorship agreement.

Any consideration given to the establishment of sponsorship agreements shall have regard to the following principles:

  • not perceived to influence or hinder how the NHS R Community operates;
  • do not impose or imply conditions that would limit or appear to limit the NHS R Community’s ability to carry out its functions fully or impartially;
  • the reputation and credibility of the NHS R Community is not damaged by making agreements with unsuitable third parties;
  • the form of sponsorship is consistent with the stated objectives of the NHS R Community which includes the NHS R Community’s image;
  • agreements can be terminated if conditions of this policy are not met;
  • agreements are formed with regard to public accountability and transparency with clear statements of objectives and benefits achieved.

Risk Assessment

Each sponsorship proposal must be subject to a risk assessment. This includes assessing:

  • ensuring that the sponsorship benefits for the third party do not outweigh the level of sponsorship;
  • ensuring that the type or form of sponsorship is not inconsistent with the objectives or needs of the NHS R Community (e.g. accepting free products simply because they are free but not of any perceivable benefit to the NHS R Community);
  • ensuring that any sponsorship proposal does not anticipate explicit endorsement of the sponsor or sponsor’s products, as this form of proposal is not acceptable to the NHS R Community;
  • ensuring no conflict of interest arises from the sponsorship;
  • sponsorship that does not eventuate the capacity of the NHS R Community to provide adequate resources and facilities to meet the terms of the proposed agreement.

If the assessment concludes the risks are unacceptably high or the NHS R Community is receiving minimal value from the proposal, the NHS R Community should discontinue consideration of the proposal at this stage.

The NHS R Community should not accept sponsorship from parties’ subject to or likely to be subject to their regulation or inspection.

Every sponsorship proposal will be assessed against the possibility of a conflict of interest.

NHS R Community Granting Sponsorship

The NHS R Community can receive requests to ‘sponsor’ activities of an external party e.g. provide funding or resourcing of activities. In most cases, ‘sponsorship’ is actually a request for financial assistance or support. These requests must be assessed in accordance with this Policy.

Unsuitable Activities for Sponsorship

Without any limitation on the NHS R Community’s ability to exercise its discretion, the NHS R Community does not consider the following companies, partnerships, NHS R Community’s or individuals as suitable for entering into sponsorship agreements with:

  • Those involved in the manufacture, distribution and wholesaling of tobacco related products, pornography and addictive drugs;
  • Those found guilty of illegal or improper conduct by any other legal authority;
  • Those which are involved in political fields [e.g. political parties];
  • Those whose services or products are considered to be injurious to health, or are seen to be in conflict with the NHS R Community’s policies and responsibilities to its members.

Acceptable Types of Sponsorship

The NHS R Community can recognise its sponsors in a number of ways. The extent of such recognition is to be determined in relation to the level and nature of the sponsorship; and is subject to written agreement specifying the benefits and costs.

Sponsorship recognition should be tasteful and discrete and must not create situations of potential embarrassment or criticism of the NHS R Community.  Such forms of recognition can include, but are not limited to:

  • appropriate signage;
  • media release acknowledging the role and contribution of the sponsor invitations to selected NHS R Community functions, which may include hospitality, preferential seating, award presentation;
  • inclusion of sponsor’s name and logo on NHS R Community publications and other external publications;
  • naming rights for an event, for the term of the sponsorship;
  • an award or trophy struck in the sponsor’s name and publicly presented;
  • merchandising of goods at selected NHS R Community events e.g. Regional Branch meetings;
  • an opportunity for the sponsor’s name and/or logo to be promoted through appropriate general advertising by the NHS R Community;

Agreements

The NHS R Community’s approved form of Sponsorship Agreement shall be used in all circumstances wherever possible. However, it is acknowledged there may be circumstances in which the sponsor may require its own form of agreement to be used. Notwithstanding this, every sponsorship agreement will require a written agreement incorporating conditions of contract which clearly set out:

  • the benefits, including economic benefits available to the Council and the sponsor and the nature of the benefits e.g. naming rights;
  • any personal benefits available to the sponsor’s employees and their relatives;
  • the form or forms of sponsorship acknowledgment which will be available;
  • the scope of uses which the sponsor can make of the sponsorship arrangement;
  • the term of the sponsorship and any conditions regarding renewal;
  • consequences of change which may occur over time e.g. a shift in the relationship, new policies, new corporate missions or objectives;
  • financial accountability requirements;
  • an indemnity by the sponsor against all liability for personal injury and for loss or damage costs, claims and expenses however caused or incurred as a result of any act of negligence by the sponsor;
  • provision for termination or suspension of the agreement.

The agreement must include a statement that that the Council’s functions will continue to be carried out fully and impartially, notwithstanding the existence of a sponsorship arrangement.

Transparency

All Sponsorship Agreements are to be listed in the NHS R Community’s Annual Report

Approval of Agreements

All sponsorship bids shall be approved by the Director of the NHS R Community in consultation with members of the TAG.

It is recommended that all potential sponsors are referred to this policy.

Access to Policy

The Sponsorship Policy is to be placed on the NHS R Community’s website.

Disclaimer

Acceptance of advertising or sponsorship does not imply any endorsement of the sponsor’s products or services by the NHS R Community

Conflict of Interest

Board members are required to declare in advance if they have any personal interests, involvement or potential conflict of interest with any potential sponsor. In the event of a potential conflict of interest, member will take no part in the consideration of sponsorship with that particular NHS R Community.

Policy Review

This policy is subject to continuous review and will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Date agreed:  9th February 2021

Advertising policy

Purpose of the Policy

In order to enhance, vary or reduce the cost of NHS R Community activities, the NHS R
Community may provide opportunities for third parties (eg NHS organisations, private sector,
voluntary sector) to advertise content via the NHS-R Community. Such content may be et
gratis or sold for a fee to generate income for the NHS-R Community.

Objectives and Coverage of the Policy

The Advertising Policy outlines the principles and procedures for accepting and granting of
advertising proposals. The Policy is concerned with:

  • Assessing and managing risk;
  • Accountability and transparency of decision making;
  • Financial management and benefits.

What is Advertising?

Advertising implies that a payment has been made to place an ad with specific messaging in
place. The NHS-R Community may sell advertising space to generate additional income
(e.g. website, external and internal poster sites and adverts in magazines).

Principles

All advertising agreements will be in the form of a written agreement and comply with
principles and procedures outlined in this policy which are based on guidance from NHS
England.
It is important that advertising must not damage the good reputation of the NHS or the NHS-
R Community or the value of the NHS/NHS-R brand.
The source of the advertising material must be clearly stated.
The NHS-R Community may offer advertising for free where this is deemed appropriate.
Any advertising should:

  • be suitable for the target audience
  • meet public expectations of the NHS/NHS-R brand and support the principles and values underpinning the NHS Identity
  • not bring the NHS/NHS-R Community into disrepute
  • not give rise to doubts about the integrity, independence or impartiality of the NHS/NHS-R Community
  • follow applicable laws and industry codes of practice.

All advertising must be distinct from editorial content so that it is clear to the audience that it is a commercial message. Advertising must not include any endorsement by the NHS or NHS-R Community.

The following categories of advertising are prohibited:

  • advertising for faith, religion and equivalent systems of belief
  • advertising for adult products and services
  • advertising for tobacco products
  • advertising for weapons and gun clubs
  • political or lobby group advertising
  • any advertisements that relate to a controversial health issue or public policy (e.g. foods with a high sugar content).
  • Advertising the undermines the aims and objectives of the NHS-R Community

Advertising must not be misleading, harmful or offensive. It must not contain anything that is likely to result in physical, mental or moral harm, contain profane language or seek to exploit children’s credulity, loyalty, vulnerability or lack of experience.

Risk Assessment

Each proposal for advertising must be subject to a risk assessment against the above criteria.  If the assessment concludes the risks are unacceptably high or the NHS R Community is receiving minimal value from the proposal, the NHS R Community should discontinue consideration of the advertising proposal at this stage.

Agreements

The NHS R Community’s approved form of Advertising Agreement shall be used in all circumstances wherever possible. However, it is acknowledged there may be circumstances in which the third party may require its own form of agreement to be used. Notwithstanding this, every sponsorship agreement will require a written agreement incorporating conditions of contract which clearly set out.

Transparency

All Advertising Agreements are to be listed in the NHS R Community’s Annual Report

Approval of Agreements

All advertising shall be approved by the Director of the NHS R Community in consultation with members of the TAG.

It is recommended that all parties interested in advertising to or via the NHS-R Community are referred to this policy.

Access to Policy

The Advertising Policy is to be placed on the NHS R Community’s website.

Disclaimer

Acceptance of advertising or sponsorship does not imply any endorsement of the sponsor’s products or services by the NHS-R Community

Conflict of Interest

Board members are required to declare in advance if they have any personal interests, involvement or potential conflict of interest with any potential sponsor. In the event of a potential conflict of interest, member will take no part in the consideration of sponsorship with that particular NHS R Community.

Policy Review

This policy is subject to continuous review and will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Date agreed: 9th February 2021

NHS-R community conference policy

A key element of developing a broad and vibrant community is the annual conference.  This will be delivered in accordance with the following principles.

Delegates access

  • Free to NHS staff public sector, voluntary sector – subject to available funding.
  • Academic sector colleagues (50% discounted fees)
  • Private sector colleagues (100% non-discounted fees)

Speakers

We do not usually pay speakers a speaking fee. Also we are unable to pay speakers travel or subsistence expenses as standard. All presenters are asked in the first instance to seek support from their own employer. If funding to support their contribution is not available from their employer, then a contribution towards the cost of presenting will be considered on a case by case basis. In this scenario, presenters will be asked to provide evidence that support is not available to them, and that some support would be required. This support would be limited in value; dependent upon the number of speakers in the same situation; and is subject to agreement before any costs are incurred.

Where we deem it to be in the wider interest of the NHS-R Community to invite special guest speakers we may consider the issues related to travel expenses, speakers’ fees and entry fees on a case-by-case basis subject to approval from our Conference Organising Group.

Sponsors and exhibitor fees

We are committed to providing free exhibition spaces for funders and partners of the NHS-R Community, including the Health Foundation, AphA, the Strategy Unit and the Improvement Academy. All other individuals and organisations will be asked to pay for exhibitor’s spaces.

Code of Conduct

The general conduct policy is outlined through the Code of Conduct published as part of the NHS-R Way book. The Code of Conduct is available to raise any issues, pull requests or comment on through GitHub.