Modern slavery and human trafficking statement

Who we are

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust provides acute and community care for its local population.  The Trust runs four hospitals as well as a number of community based services in the area.  We employ 7,200 people and spend £430,000,000 of public money each year, serving the healthcare needs of 530,000 people from across North-West Birmingham and the towns in Sandwell.

Further details about what we do can be found on our website.

Current policies and initiatives

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust fully supports the Government’s objectives to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking and recognises the significant role the NHS has to play in both combatting it, and supporting victims.  In particular, we are strongly committed to ensuring our supply chains and business activities are free from ethical and labour standards abuses. Steps taken to date include:

People

We confirm the identities of all new employees and their right to work in the United Kingdom, and pay all our employees above the National Living Wage.   Our Dignity at Work, Grievance & Disputes and Whistleblowing policies additionally give a platform for our employees to raise concerns about poor working practices.

The Trust provides training on safeguarding in respect of adults and children which includes reference to modern slavery as a form of abuse.  The Trust policy on safeguarding adults provides advice and guidance to front line practitioners to ensure they are aware of and able to respond to incidents of modern slavery within care settings.

Procurement and our supply chain

Our procurement approach follows the Crown Commercial Service standard and includes a mandatory exclusion question regarding the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

When procuring goods and services, we additionally apply NHS Terms and Conditions (for non-clinical procurement) and the NHS Standard Contract (for clinical procurement). Both require suppliers to comply with relevant legislation.

Procurement staff receive training on ethical and labour issues in procurement.

Review of effectiveness

We intend to take further steps to identify, assess and monitor potential risk areas in terms of modern slavery and human trafficking, particularly in our supply chains.

In 2018/19, our anti-slavery programme will also:

  • continue to provide mandatory training to all staff, both clinical and non-clinical on safeguarding issues including modern slavery;
  • continue to provide professional development to staff involved in procurement matters which makes reference to modern slavery;
  • continue to ensure that the terms and conditions of supply to the Trust preclude modern slavery practices in the Trust’s supply chain.

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive Officer         April 2018

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.  The statement is subject to Board approval in May 2018.