Modern Slavery Act 2015 Section 54 - Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

NELFT aims to follow good practice and take all reasonable steps to prevent slavery and human trafficking. We are committed to ensuring that all of our employees are aware of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and their safeguarding duty to protect and prevent any further harm and abuse when it is identified or suspected that the individual may be or is at risk of modern slavery/human trafficking.

We are committed to ensuring that no modern slavery or human trafficking takes place in any part of our business or our Supply chain. This statement sets out actions taken by NELFT to understand all potential modern slavery and human trafficking risks and to implement effective systems and controls. Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires all organisations to set out the steps the organisation has taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of its supply chains, and in any part of its own business.

Trust Structure and Principle Activities

Organisational Structure and Supply Chains

NELFT is an NHS Foundation Trust providing an extensive range of integrated community and mental health services for people living in the London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest, as well as community health services for people living in the south west Essex areas of Basildon, Brentwood and Thurrock. We provide an Emotional Wellbeing Mental Health Service for children and young people across the whole of Essex, and are the provider of all age eating disorder services and child and adolescent mental health services across Kent and Medway. We also provide Child Health Information Systems across 12 boroughs in north east London.

With an annual budget of circa £390 million, we provide care and treatment for a population of circa 2.15 million. We employ approximately 6,000 staff who work across 210 bases in London, Essex, Kent and Medway. 

We procure goods and services from a range of providers. Contracts vary from small one-off purchases to large service contracts.

Our current Procurement processes are as below:

All spend, aside from a few exceptions such as rates, is paid via PO. The Applicable Contract Terms Policy applies to any NHS organisation and states that where an NHS body issues a PO the standard Terms & Conditions apply.

Section 10 (Warranties) of those standard terms and conditions state the following:

10      Warranties

10.1    The Supplier warrants and undertakes that:

10.1.21         it shall: (i) comply with all relevant Law and Guidance and shall use Good Industry Practice to ensure that there is no slavery or human trafficking in its supply chains; and (ii) notify the Authority immediately if it becomes aware of any actual or suspected incidents of slavery or human trafficking in its supply chains;

10.1.22         it shall at all times conduct its business in a manner that is consistent with any anti-slavery Policy of the Authority and shall provide to the Authority any reports or other information that the Authority may request as evidence of the Supplier’s compliance with this Clause 10.1.22 and/or as may be requested or otherwise required by the Authority in accordance with its anti-slavery Policy;

The top 80% of suppliers nationally affirm their own compliance with the modern slavery and human trafficking act within their own organisation, sub-contracting arrangements and supply chain.

Organisational policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking

The Trust has internal policies and procedures in place that assess supplier risk in relation to the potential for modern slavery or human trafficking.

NELFT Safeguarding Standard Operating Policy and procedure includes information on modern day slavery/human trafficking.

The NELFT Incident Reporting Policy states that staff should report incidents of all types and this includes concerns regarding modern slavery and human trafficking. By using the local risk management system (Datix) appropriate teams, including safeguarding and Freedom to Speak Up are made aware.

All staff have access to the NELFT Safeguarding Advice Service for support and guidance when they are concerned about modern day slavery or trafficking.
The Trust has a Freedom to Speak Up – Raising Concerns and Whistleblowing Policy which details how staff can raise any concerns that they may have confidentially. This can be through a Freedom to Speak Up email inbox, or through a conversation with the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, who will provide support to the individual raising a concern. Staff are provided with this information at corporate induction. A Freedom to Speak Up Strategy is also in draft form.

Trust activities and policies are required to have an Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) completed.

Assessing and managing risk and due diligence processes in relation to slavery and human trafficking

We are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business.

The Trust reviews its Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement on an annual basis and presents it at the Board of Directors meeting in Public. This demonstrates a public commitment, ensures visibility and encourages reporting standards.

To identify and mitigate the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our own business and our supply chain:

  • The Trust adheres to the National NHS Employment Checks / Standards (this includes employees UK address, right to work in the UK and suitable references)
  • The Trust has systems to encourage the reporting of concerns and the protection of whistleblowers
  • The Trust purchases a significant number of products through NHS Supply Chain, who’s ‘Supplier Code of Conduct’ includes a provision around forced labour. Other contracts are governed by standard NHS Terms & Conditions. High value contracts are effectively managed and relationships built with suppliers.
  • The majority of our purchases utilise existing supply contracts or frameworks which have been negotiated under the NHS Standard Terms and Conditions of Contract, these all have the requirement for suppliers to have suitable anti-slavery and human trafficking policies and processes in place.  Where a suitable framework exists we use them in preference to tendering.  These are run by NHS procurement hubs and contain the standard Terms & Conditions. 
  • The Trust will request all suppliers to comply with the provisions of the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015), through agreement of our ‘Supplier Code of Conduct’, purchase orders and tender specifications. All of which will set out our commitment to confirming there is no modern slavery or human trafficking related to NELFT service delivery and business.
  • The Trust upholds professional codes of conduct and practice relating to procurement and supply, including through our Procurement Team’s membership of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).  Our operational staff are all CIPS members and the majority of them have passed CIPS level 4 which is a part of their PDP objectives.

Effective action taken to address modern slavery - Performance Indicators

The Trust is committed to social and environmental responsibility and has zero tolerance for Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. Any identified concerns regarding Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking are escalated as part of the organisational safeguarding process. This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes NELFTs slavery and human trafficking statement for the current financial year.

All members of staff have a personal responsibility for the successful prevention of slavery and human trafficking with the procurement department taking responsibility for overall compliance.

A Freedom to Speak Up Report is submitted to the Board of Directors on a 6-monthly basis which includes an overview of the number of concerns raised by staff and the category that they fall into.

Training on modern slavery and trafficking

Safeguarding training is mandatory for all staff and includes information on trafficking and modern day slavery in order to promote the knowledge and understanding of escalating concerns via the Home Office national referral mechanism/duty to notify process.


Approved by Board of Directors: 22 September 2020
Next review: September 2021
Author: Lauren MacIntyre, Director of Corporate Affairs
Signed: Professor Oliver Shanley OBE, Chief Executive