The Modern Slavery Act 2015 has introduced changes in UK law focused on increasing transparency in supply chains and to ensure supply chains are free from modern slavery (that is, slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking). As both a local leader in commissioning health care services for the population of South Tyneside and as an employer, South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (the CCG) provides the following statement in respect of its commitment to, and efforts in, preventing slavery and human trafficking practices in the supply chain and employment practices.
Definition of Offences
Slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour
A person commits an offence if;
- The person holds another person in slavery or servitude and the circumstances are such that the person knows or ought to know that the other person is held in slavery or servitude, or;
- The person requires another person to perform forced or compulsory labour and the circumstances are such that the person knows or ought to know that the other person is being required to perform forced or compulsory labour
A person commits an offence if;
- The person arranges or facilitates the travel of another person (victim) with a view to being exploited.
- It is irrelevant whether the victim consents to travel and whether or not the victim is an adult or a child
A person is exploited if one or more of the following issues are identified in relation to the victim;
- Slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour.
- Sexual exploitation
- Removal of organs
- Securing services by force, threats and deception
- Securing services from children, young people and vulnerable persons
As an authorised statutory body, the CCG is the lead commissioner for health care services (including acute, community, mental health and primary care) in the South Tyneside area, covering a population in excess of 153,000 and representing 22 GP practices. We are an NHS organisation with over 25 employees and a budget in 2017/18 of approx. £250 million.
Our commitment to prevent slavery and human trafficking
The Governing Body, Senior Management Team and all employees are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in any part of our business activity and in so far as is possible to holding our suppliers to account to do likewise.
Our overall approach will be governed by compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements and the maintenance and development of best practice in the fields of contracting and employment.
Our plans and arrangements
Our internal recruitment processes are highly mature and adhere to safe recruitment principles. This includes strict requirements in respect of identity checks, work permits and criminal records. Our pay structure is derived from national collective agreements and is based on equal pay principles with rates of pay that are nationally determined.
Contracting with providers is a core function of the CCG. All of our contracting and commissioning staff are suitably qualified and experienced in managing healthcare contracts and receive appropriate briefing on the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act). Our providers, who are required to, provide evidence of their plans and arrangements to prevent slavery in their activities and supply chain.
Progress on 16/17
Modern Day Slavery Statements from health Trusts have been received via safeguarding assurance and will do so annually. The Trusts provide assurance of the statements governance and that it is published on their public web site.
The awareness video from NHSE has been viewed and discussed with GP safeguarding leads forum and sent to all GP practices for dissemination.
The CCG is engaged with partners in the development of MDS strategy and operational response.
Assurance has been gained from NECS of their work to ensure a consistent approach across CSUs working in partnership nationally. They have updated their capability and capacity questionnaire to include a question on relevant commercial organisations defined by section 54 “Transparency in supply chains.” of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. There will be the request to evidence compliance with the annual reporting requirements contained within section 54, evidence of annual statement. This will also be included within the tender response questions aligned to ‘workforce’ and how this will be managed for the specific contract.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31st March 2018.
Jeanette Scott Thomas
Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Safety
South Tyneside CCG