NHS supply chains carrying goods linked to slavery or human trafficking will be banned under a new law currently passing through Parliament.
The Health and Care Bill amendment intends to ban the NHS from using products and services involving any kind of slave labour, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said.
This amendment will make the NHS responsible for assessing the level of risk associated with individual suppliers and whether they should be blacklisted.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said he hopes the move will “eradicate” slavery from supply chains.
He said: “I want this to be a turning point in the UK’s mission to eradicate slavery and human trafficking in supply chains around the globe.
“As the biggest public procurer in the country, the NHS is well placed to spearhead this work.”
Conservative MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith was among those who campaigned for the change, and he welcomed the move.
Sir Iain said on Twitter: “I welcome this significant move by Sajid Javid to outlaw the purchase of goods and services that come from companies and countries where there is slave labour.
“Those of us who are members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China have campaigned hard for such a change; it’s good to know this will now happen.”
The amendment was tabled on Thursday and it will be scrutinised by MPs in the Commons on Monday.