Barchester Healthcare is one of the largest independent care providers in the UK. As an operator of over 200 care homes we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional levels of care to our residents, with each care plan tailored to an individual’s requirements.
As the face of Barchester Healthcare, our employees are a key component of our care delivery. Alongside them, some of the most important third party stakeholders in this regard are our suppliers and as a company, we predominantly use UK based suppliers and endeavour to develop close ties with them in order to keep our supply chain relatively short.
We are committed to identifying, preventing and monitoring risks of slavery, human trafficking and forced labour in our supply chain and operations. We have a zero tolerance approach to such practices.
However, we realise that words are not enough, given the importance of the issue, and that is why we have put in place a number of significant actions to ensure that we are able to meet and surpass this commitment. These are:
Slavery and human trafficking risk mapping - We use the expertise of key stakeholders to help us to identify areas for action, including reviewing the risks of slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains but, also, closer to home, in our recruitment process.
Modern slavery policy – This now forms part of our main employee handbook with the policy itself being rolled out to all employees, irrespective of grade and location. The policy is key as it gives our employees the tools to identify modern slavery and report it.
Management guidance – Alongside the policy we have taken additional steps to help managers identify potential issues and also ensure that any issues that are reported to them are dealt with correctly.
Procurement – We expect our suppliers to adopt the same zero tolerance that we do to modern slavery. Accordingly, we are working with suppliers to introduce contractual obligations that require them to adopt this approach and are taking that into account as part of our procurement process
Whist we are proud of the steps we have taken above, we realise that it is just the start of the journey and over the next 12 months we will not only ensure that the work done to date is reinforced, but also continue to consider how this can be improved on going forward. In particular we are looking at introducing an electronic risk register of suppliers and potential suppliers and will continue the introduction of contractual obligations on our suppliers around modern slavery.
Dr Peter Calveley Chief Executive Officer Barchester Healthcare