The Guidance for staff and Company representatives is in line with the Lords Carter report on unwanted variation in Community Mental Health, It is also a requirement in the NHSI standards of Procurement. Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust appreciates the important role that suppliers of goods and services undertake to assist the Trust with its day-to-day business. Healthcare companies in particular assist healthcare professionals in providing suitable, safe, and cost effective products to the patients in their care. It is recognised however that the prime objective of Supplier/Sales Representatives is to promote and sell their products and/or services to the Trust. This function should be undertaken in an appropriate and ethical manner and must not contravene Trust governance policies and processes or NHS Terms and Conditions of Contract.
What is modern slavery?
Slavery is a violation of a person's human rights. It can take the form of human trafficking, forced labour, bonded labour, forced or servile marriage, descent-based slavery and domestic slavery. A person is considered to be in modern slavery if they are:
- Forced to work through mental or physical threat
- Owned or controlled by an "employer", usually through mental or physical abuse
- Dehumanised, treated as a commodity or sold or bought as "property"
- Physically constrained or has restrictions placed on their freedom of movement
The use of slavery in the production of goods and services
Typically, the products bought nowadays have passed through a long chain of producers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers who have all participated in its production, delivery and sale. It can therefore be very difficult to certify that a product has or has not been produced using slavery. However, the way in which companies operate and manage their supply chain can affect the likelihood of slavery being a part of the final product. The Modern Slavery Act gives responsibility to companies for ensuring that no slavery has occurred, and this applies not only to the products they sell or the services they provide themselves but also to their suppliers, and the suppliers of their suppliers, all the way down the supply chain.
What we are required to do
Primarily our requirements relate to section 54 of the Act "Transparency in the supply chain" Under the Act, any company with a turnover of more than £36m must produce a statement for each financial year listing the steps it is taking to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of its supply chains or in any part of its business. This statement must be published on company websites and visible to staff, suppliers, customers and investors. The trickle-down effect of the Act will be felt this year as businesses begin to ask more searching questions of their suppliers to seek assurance that they are also taking steps to ensure that their supply chains are free from slavery
Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust requires the contractors to agree to the NHS Terms & Conditions of Contract for the provision of goods or services. By doing so they are confirming that they comply with all relevant Law and Guidance and shall use Good Industry Practice to ensure that there is no slavery or human trafficking in their supply chains.