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NHS Supply Chain publishes Sustainable Development Report

Thursday 20 July 2017

  • Strong commitment to ethical procurement with 200 suppliers subject to the Labour Standards Assurance System contract conditions
  • Vehicle fleet renewal programme reinforces environmental credentials 

NHS Supply Chain is pleased to announce the launch of its 2015-16 Sustainable Development Report. The report outlines the commitment to deliver sustainability benefits for NHS customers, placing strong emphasis on the progress made in ethical procurement and transparency.

The passing of the 2015 UK Modern Slavery Act brought into sharp focus the responsibility of suppliers to understand their supply chains. NHS Supply Chain responded by widening its ethical procurement programme first established in 2012. Today, over 200 suppliers are subject to the Labour Standards Assurance System (LSAS) conditions across a wide range of framework agreements.

In addition to engaging with suppliers on their response to the legislation, NHS Supply has trained 75% of its buyers on the Modern Slavery Act and is on target to train 100% by the end of 2017.

“Our report demonstrates how sustainability is increasingly embedded in the roles of our buyers,” said Stephanie Gibney, Ethical and Sustainability Manager at NHS Supply Chain. “It’s at the forefront of their consciousness when making business decisions, alongside cost, quality and service. In fact it’s becoming simply how we do business.”

David Pierpoint, Chief Operating Officer at NHS Supply Chain added, “Our 2015-16 report demonstrates how procuring through NHS Supply Chain helps drive sustainable value, both through procurement and logistics. The focus on ethical procurement and transparency forms a key part of the report. By working cross-functionally with our suppliers and stakeholders we can understand more about our impact and help ensure sustainable activity is embedded in the business.”

In addition to ethical procurement, the report also recognises the benefits of the 2016 vehicle fleet renewal programme. This saw the delivery of 120 new vehicles with vastly increased environmental and safety credentials. As a procurement and logistics organisation, NHS Supply Chain recognised that a large proportion of its direct carbon footprint originate from its delivery vehicles. In response, the new fleet and other initiatives such as driver training, vehicle telematics and route planning have reduced the environmental impact of deliveries.

Other achievements include maintaining the Environmental Management System ISO14001, with the Customer Assurance Team achieving integrated accreditation to the new standard in 2016. NHS Supply Chain also achieved a recycling and recovery rate of 86% from business waste, raised over £31,000 for Macmillan (nominated charity of choice) and were involved in local communities through fundraising and volunteering.

NHS Supply Chain’s 2015-16 Sustainable Development Report is available to download at:


Media enquiries:

Jennie Brice-Boutard
07714 043391
Joanna Morrison
07776 457201

Notes to editors

About NHS Supply Chain

All information in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL and managed by the NHS Business Services Authority. It supports the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare organisations in England and Wales by providing end to end supply chain solutions.

The organisation was formed in 2006 from the NHS Logistics Authority and parts of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA). The initial contract which was due to expire in October 2016 has been extended for a further two years until October 2018.

NHS Supply Chain is working closely with the NHSBSA, to build on the savings already achieved to deliver £300m of the opportunities for procurement efficiency savings as highlighted in Lord Carter’s interim report: Review of operational efficiency in NHS providers.

NHS Supply Chain manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products and food for over 1,000 NHS trusts and healthcare organisations. It provides a single point of access to over 316,000 nationally available, transactable lines ranging from bandages to sutures, from gloves to implants, and surgical equipment. In addition, it can help you plan your investment in medical capital equipment such as MRI scanners, linear accelerators and patient monitors.

Its management of the procurement process negates an NHS organisation’s need to tender through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Costs can also be reduced through its one-route solution that consolidates all products onto one invoice and delivery.

To ensure that its products are fit for today’s healthcare market, NHS Supply Chain works with suppliers of all sizes to ensure its range embraces high quality and innovative products; and engages with clinicians, the Department of Health and academic institutions to make sure that it is aware of the current requirements and latest developments in clinical practice.

NHS Supply Chain’s product areas include:
• Theatres
• Dental
• Audiology
• Catering, including food
• Infection control
• Orthopaedics
• Rehabilitation
• Capital equipment, including finance and maintenance.

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs over 2,400 staff across seven sites.

Delivering value to the NHS