The latest CCG bulletin from NHS England includes a guide to Ethical Procurement for GPs and Clinical Commissioning Groups published by the British Medical Association (BMA) in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). It aims to encourage commissioners to consider the wider impact of procurement decisions beyond their local populations.

Currently CCGs have to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability as part of the authorisation process. NHS England’s guide to Clinical Commissioning Group Authorisation: Guide for applicants includes a self certification process to demonstrate commitment to sustainability. The ethical agenda would appear to fit well with a CCGs’ sustainability duty.

The BMA’s guidance suggests ways in which CCGs can introduce ethical and sustainable criteria into commissioning and procurement policies. CCGs may wish to consider :

  • Achieving a formal consensus at board level to support ethical procurement. This has been done by the City and Hackney CCG, London.
  • Giving a member of the CCG responsibility for ethical procurement.
  • Asking providers during the tendering process to show what they are doing to ensure labour standards in the supply chain of their goods.

For more information on ethical procurement in medical supply chains, please go to the BMA’s web page.