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General Policy
Medical Director
Assistant Research & Development Director
Assistant Research & Development Director
Assistant Research & Development Director - Research Governance Group
01 October 2006
12 September 2019
12 September 2021

General Note

NHS Fife acknowledges and agrees with the importance of regular and timely review of policy/procedure statements and aims to review policies within the timescales set out.

New policies/procedures will be subject to a review date of no more than 1 year from the date of first issue.

Reviewed policies/procedures will have a review date set that is relevant to the content (advised by the author) but will be no longer than 3 years.

If a policy/procedure is past its review date then the content will remain extant until such time as the policy/procedure review is complete and the new version published, or there are national policy or legislative changes.

1.3.2 Included in research fraud and misconduct are the failure to acknowledge the use of other individuals’ work, abuse of confidentiality, misappropriation of results, materials and resources, and collusion, including the concealment of such actions by others.

1.3.3 Excluded are differences of interpretation and opinion.

1.4 NHS Fife expects that members of staff will read this policy and procedure in conjunction with:

  • NHS Fife Procedure for Management of Employee Conduct (HR3) which addresses employee misconduct and defines the organisation’s disciplinary procedure should this need to be invoked.
  • NHS Fife Financial Operating procedure Section 16 (b) Anti-fraud, Theft and Corruption Policy and response Plan.


2.1 This policy applies across NHS Fife and is applicable to all staff with NHS Fife contracts of employment, wherever employed. This includes staff whose payroll costs are partially funded by another party (including, but not limited to: a commercial sponsor, government department, or medical charity). It also includes trainees and students hosted by NHS Fife for training purposes, members of the public who are representatives on NHS Fife's statutory groups under the Patient Focus Public Involvement Agenda, Non Executive Directors and agency or consultancy staff.


3.1 This policy is applicable to all staff within NHS Fife, individuals with substantive contracts with partnering bodies and any other person who is authorised to undertake research in the organisation or to use its facilities.


4.1 Assistant R&D Director

4.1.1 Receive initial complaint of fraud and misconduct and request a full written statement in support of complaint.

4.1.2 Any suggestion of financial fraud must be referred to the Director of Finance.

4.2 R&D Director

4.2.1 Gather evidence and in consultation take specialist advice, conduct initial review of complaint.

4.2.2 Inform Researcher/Staff member that complaint has been received.

4.2.3 Determine whether formal investigation is required.

4.2.4 If no formal investigation required, Researcher/Staff member and Complainant informed and case closed.

4.2.5 If formal investigation required inform Researcher/Staff member that complaint will be formally assessed.

4.2.6 Appoint formal Investigation Team.

4.2.7 Provide written notice of Formal Investigation Team membership and detail of complaint to Researcher/Staff member.

4.3 Investigation Team

4.3.1 Appointed by the R&D Director, the Formal Investigation Team should comprise as a minimum the R&D Director or a nominee, and a representative of the Researcher’s /Staff member’ s Lead Employer.

4.3.2 Other personnel may be invited onto the panel as required. Responsibilities of the Team include:

- Conduct formal investigation

- Present written report of findings to the appropriate Line Manager.

4.4 Appropriate Line Manager

4.4.1 Review findings of formal investigation, determine recommendations and communicate to all relevant parties.

4.4.2 Invoke disciplinary procedure where required.

4.5 All investigations should be concluded as a matter of priority, and within a maximum of 20 working days of the R&D Director’s decision that a formal investigation is / is not required.

4.6 NHS Fife Researchers/Staff members

4.6.1 Cooperate fully with any informal and formal investigations.

4.7 Appeals Procedure for NHS Fife Researchers/Staff members

4.7.1 Where disciplinary action has been invoked, the person accused of fraud/misconduct will have access to a right of appeal in accordance with the NHS Fife Disciplinary Procedures.

4.7.2 If disciplinary action has not been invoked, the person may appeal against the findings of the investigation through the Lead Employer’s appropriate appeals or grievances procedure.


5.1 This policy forms part of the systems and procedures that NHS Fife has put in place to meet its research governance requirements. In so doing, NHS Fife is managing its risks associated with research activity within the organisation.


6.1 GPR3-Appendix 1: NHS Fife Research Fraud and Misconduct Procedural flow chart.

6.2 GPR3-Research Fraud and Misconduct EQIA

6.3 NHS Fife Financial Operating Procedures


7.1 UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research (2017)

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