Over the last year NHS Digital has continued to take steps to identify, prevent and mitigate modern slavery in our procurement and supply chains. We have adopted the Procurement Policy Note 05/19: ‘Tackling Modern Slavery in Government Supply Chains’ through updated policy, process and training.
We have supported the compliance of modern slavery and human rights awareness and prevention standards amongst our staff. We have provided access to relevant training for procurement and commercial staff at all levels, including ethics training accredited by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS); 100% of commercial’s permanent team members have completed this training. This training supports staff in understanding how to identify modern slavery and how to tackle it effectively in supply chains, both in existing contracts and new procurement activity. As such, in November 2020 we obtained CIPS Ethics accreditation.
Our standard contracts for the supply of goods, service and works contain terms regarding modern slavery principles and are reviewed during our due diligence and assurance process. We also use Government framework agreements including the Crown Commercial Service frameworks, to procure common ‘commodity’ goods and services, as well as the NHS Terms and Conditions where applicable. These each set out the behaviours that buyers and suppliers can expect of each other throughout procurement and supply chain relationships, including specific provisions on modern slavery and compliance with relevant legislation. Additionally, we have updated our Commercial Policy and supporting processes to provide awareness of the Modern Slavery Helpline.
We look to provide continuous improvement to be more resilient to modern slavery and the focus this in 2021 will be on implementing and incentivising responsible business practices to protect workers in our supply chains. This will be achieved by using the Government guidance as part modern slavery due diligence checks for both new and existing suppliers.