NHS Surrey Heartlands Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

Background and purpose

Modern slavery is the recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving of children, women or men through the use of force, coercion, abuse of vulnerability, deception or other means for the purpose of exploitation. Individuals may be trafficked into, out of or within the UK, and they may be trafficked for a number of reasons including sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude and organ harvesting.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 introduced changes in UK law focused on increasing transparency in supply chains, to ensure our supply chains are free from modern slavery (that is, slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking). NHS Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) across Surrey are committed to working with local partners to improve our practice in combatting slavery and human trafficking and to raise awareness, disrupt and respond to Modern Slavery.

Organisational structure

NHS Surrey Heartlands is the host ICB for safeguarding children and adults including looked after children and child death review arrangements on behalf of the NHS Surrey Heartlands and NHS Frimley. We have a clear line of accountability for safeguarding within the ICB.

The ICS Chief Executive has ultimate accountability for ensuring that the health contribution to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults is discharged effectively across the whole health economy through commissioning arrangements.

The ICS Director of Multi-Professional Leadership and Chief Nursing Officer NHS Surrey Heartlands executive lead for safeguarding has responsibility for providing leadership and gaining assurance in relation to safeguarding issues within the ICB and across the system.

NHS Surrey Heartlands employs the expertise of Designated Professionals for both children, adults, looked after children and child death review through collaborative arrangements. These roles are an integral part of the ICB and ICS activity and support the delivery of the safeguarding adults, children’s, Looked after children and child death review agenda.

Commitment to Prevent Slavery and Human Trafficking

As an authorised statutory body, ICBs are the lead commissioners for health care services including acute, community, mental health, pharmaceutical, optometry and dental across Surrey. The Governing Body, Executive Management Team, commissioners and all employees fully support the government’s objectives to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking. NHS Surrey Heartlands 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 approach

NHS Surrey Heartlands overall approach will be governed by compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements and the maintenance and development of good practice in the fields of contracting and employment.

All of NHS Surrey Heartlands contracting and commissioning staff have mandatory safeguarding training which includes awareness on Modern Slavery.

As part of NHS Surrey Heartlands commissioning assurance process, we will request evidence via the NHS contract schedule from all our health providers in regard to their plans and arrangements to prevent slavery in their activities and supply chain.

Policies and arrangements

NHS Surrey Heartlands recruitment processes are robust and adhere to safe recruitment principles. This includes strict requirements in respect of identity checks, work permits and criminal records.

NHS Surrey Heartlands policies such as Safeguarding Adults and Children policy, Civility and Respect at Work, Grievance Policy and Freedom to Speak Up (Whistleblowing) policy provides an additional platform for our employees to raise concerns about poor and inappropriate working practices.

NHS Surrey Heartlands procurement approach follows the Crown Commercial Service standard. When procuring goods and services, we 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.

Review of effectiveness

NHS Surrey Heartlands intend to take further steps to identify, assess and monitor potential risk areas in terms of modern slavery and human trafficking, particularly in the supply chains of our providers. NHS Surrey Heartlands will commit to:

  • Employ Designated Safeguarding professionals providing expert support and advice into the commissioning process and supporting multi-agency work to respond to modern slavery and human trafficking.
  • Raising awareness of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 internally and as part of all procurement processes. We will request all providers to set out evidence of their plans and arrangements to prevent slavery in their activities and supply chain.
  • Gaining assurance that all commissioned services have access to training on how to identify those who are victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. This training will include the latest information for staff to develop the skills to identify and support individuals who come into contact with health services
  • Work with NHS funded and partner organisations to ensure modern slavery and human trafficking are appropriately prioritised and feature prominently in safeguarding work plans.

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 current financial year.