The BBC has revealed that an NHS physiotherapist was paid more than $1 million in 2015 to promote a new medical device in the US, even though the device was not working.
The doctor was also paid for speaking engagements, including a panel discussion on medical device development at the World Economic Forum.
The BBC reported the $1,065,000 payment to the US government’s Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a report on Wednesday.
In the report, which has been made public in the hope of shedding light on the conduct of the Department, the watchdog said that the $850,000 paid by the US Government to a UK-based doctor for a conference was in breach of the Americans Health Insurance Plan (AHIP).
In a statement, NHS England said that it had been made aware of the findings of the report and that it was looking into the matter.
The report was written by Dr John Sillitoe, who was appointed to the board of NHS England in 2014.
It was commissioned by the then Health Secretary Nicky Morgan.
“The board found that the pay was excessive, which resulted in an overpayment to a US-based health practitioner and breach of ethics by the American government,” Dr Sillig said.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) had been looking into whether NHS England had made a “systematic” decision to pay an American health practitioner for a speaking engagement.
The watchdog said it had also found that “numerous instances” of overpayments had been reported.
Dr Sllig said that “at the time, we did not know whether there had been an overcharge or a non-overcharge.”
Dr Sollig’s report also revealed that there was an “unreasonable” attempt to “delegitimise” a British NHS physiotherapy instructor, who had previously made more than £400,000 from speaking engagements.
The consultant’s pay was “inadequate” to the “public interest” and had been “improperly managed”, Dr Sills report said.
Dr Hernan Rocha, the CEO of NHS Digital, which runs NHS Digital from its headquarters in London, said that he had been approached by NHS Digital and NHS England to investigate “a series of matters relating to the NHS’s medical device programme”.
Dr Rochas report was due to be published in April but he has now said that NHS Digital would not publish it.
“As soon as it is available we will put it out on our website,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Dr Rombauer told Today that it would be a “massive mistake” for the Government to publish the report without “certain safeguards”.
He added: “It’s not like we’re talking about a secret or something.
We’re talking just about what we’ve seen.”
The report said that one of the US devices, the CTE-2, was not functioning properly and that there had also been “significant and potentially catastrophic” problems with the device’s safety and reliability.
The device has been the subject of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, which is conducting a review into the company that made the device.
The US Department of Commerce has also launched a criminal investigation into the Cte-2 and a number of health and pharmaceutical companies have joined the inquiry.