The Ethical Trading Initiative, Medical Fair & Ethical Trade Group and British Medical Association, in partnership with the Department of Health, has issued guidance on ethical procurement for health.
According to the partnership “…..the National Health Service spends in excess of £30 billion per annum on the procurement of goods and services. The supply chains that provide these commodities are global, and employ millions of people worldwide. However there is a growing body of evidence that, in some cases, the basic employment rights of people in these supply chains are being infringed. In many cases the erosion of rights can directly affect the health of employees, for example as a result of unsafe working conditions or remuneration that falls below the living wage………There is an uncomfortable paradox in providing healthcare in the NHS at the expense of workers’ health in its supply chains. There is a risk to the reputation of the NHS through inaction, but conversely the importance and spending power of the NHS presents a real opportunity for it to take a lead in ethical procurement.”
To help the NHS take a lead, the partnership has produced an online workbook to assist organisations with establishing an ethical procurement strategy, and setting out how this can be implemented in your organisation.
The workbook and other relevant resources can be accessed here.