UK to eradicate modern slavery from NHS supply chains

"As the biggest public procurer in the country, the NHS is well placed to spearhead this work" - Health Secretary Sajid Javid. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

The government has tabled a landmark amendment to the Health and Care Bill aiming to eradicate the use of goods and services in the NHS that are tainted by slavery and human trafficking.

The amendment will help ensure the NHS, which is the biggest public procurer in the country, is not buying or using goods or services produced by or involving any kind of slave labour.

This represents a significant step forward in the UK’s mission to crack down on the evils of modern slavery wherever it is found.

The power will allow tough regulations to be made which can set out steps that the NHS should be taking to assess the level of risk associated with individual suppliers, and the basis on which they should exclude them from a tendering process.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“I want this to be a turning point in the UK’s mission to eradicate slavery and human trafficking in supply chains around the globe.

“As the biggest public procurer in the country, the NHS is well placed to spearhead this work.”

Mr Javid continued:

“I will not stand by and watch a penny of my department’s budget go towards such inhumane practice.

“I hope that this bold move will prompt a total eradication of modern slavery across all global supply chains, not just in the health sector. I have no doubt that with the excellent campaigners across Parliament, including Sir Iain Duncan Smith, that we will get there.”

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