About the Ethics Committee
The Committee was established as a company limited by Guarantee without shareholding in 2000 to review complaints against Dr Foster Intelligence by any third party and as an advisory body which has the mandate to examine at its own initiative any aspect of Dr Foster Intelligence’s work or issues arising from it.
The Committee is constituted as a company, The Dr Foster Ethics Committee Limited, and the members of the committee are all directors of the company: it is not an associated company nor a subsidiary of Dr Foster Intelligence.
To ensure impartiality, members of the Committee are not remunerated for their time, none of the participants have any financial links with Dr Foster Intelligence and they have no involvement in Dr Foster’s commercial partnerships. Members of the Committee are all motivated to promote better public access to health information.
Dr Foster Intelligence has contracted with this company, to abide by the recommendations of the Committee. The Committee serves to ensure that Dr Foster Intelligence meets the standards laid down in its Code of Conduct.
The Committee has been structured in this way to enable both that it, in the event of complaint, reviews all DFI published material and that it can also adjudicate any disputes between DFI’s joint venture parties regarding compliance of the Code of Conduct. It essentially oversees DFI’s conduct and publications.
DFI can propose possible new members to the Committee, but only the Committee is able to appoint new members.
The role of the committee as agreed in the Deed of Covenant as follows:
To review material published by Dr Foster Intelligence and to require Dr Foster Intelligence to amend material that the committee regards as inaccurate, biased or unreliable in any way.
To ensure that the activities of Dr Foster Intelligence do not run counter to the Code of Conduct. The code requires Dr Foster Intelligence to promote better understanding of healthcare, to ensure wide distribution of its information and to avoid political activities.
To adjudicate on complaints according to the procedure laid down in the Deed of Covenant.
The code does not call on the committee to become involved in day-to-day decisions about the way in which Dr Foster Intelligence conducts its research or in the way in which it prepares material for publication in the media. It is not required to approve publications or to agree methodologies ahead of publication.
The committee has the power to examine all databases, records and documents held by Dr Foster Intelligence at any time and also has the power to require Dr Foster Intelligence to change its practices or publications.
The committee has the sole power to appoint new members and to decide the number of people on the committee.
Members are unpaid and are prohibited from any direct commercial relationship with Dr Foster Intelligence or Dr Foster Holdings LLP or HSCIC or Dr Foster Research Limited.