GPs urged to source ethically

Gurjit Degun
18 May 2014

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19 May 2014 | Gurjit Degun

The medical profession is being urged to ensure it is sourcing ethically in a new guide from the British Medical Association (BMA).

Ensuring the protection of labour rights in medical supply chains said in the UK the NHS spends in excess of £40 billion every year on the procurement of goods and services.

“There is a growing body of evidence that, in some cases, the basic employment rights of people in these supply chains are being infringed,” it said. The guide added many are working in unsafe conditions and remuneration falls below a living wage.

It also encouraged GPs to look at the wider picture when making commissioning decisions. “GPs can influence the procurement process by considering the impact of procurement decisions beyond their immediate population, and putting sustainability principles at the core of their approach,” said the BMA.

“CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) have an opportunity to leverage their significant purchasing power to foster improvements in the working conditions for workers in the UK and around the world.”

The guide also explained the benefits of ethical procurement to the NHS: better stakeholder expectations, security of supply and quality.

The document includes six points to encourage GPs who are not actively involved in their CCG to support the ethical trade campaign. These include asking suppliers or the collaborative procurement hub about their ethical procurement policy, and raising awareness among colleagues.

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