Modern slavery statement

Our commitment

This statement is made pursuant to Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and is relevant to New Medical Systems Limited (company number 06211662) (“Newmedica”) and all its subsidiary companies. The statement determines the steps Newmedica has taken, and is continuing to take, to eradicate Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking from its internal and external supplier network and business and is relevant to the progress and plans for the financial year ending 31 March 2024. The statement has been approved by the board of directors of Newmedica.

Newmedica is a subsidiary of Specsavers Optical Superstores Limited (“Specsavers”) and where applicable, Specsavers assists Newmedica with purchasing, this statement therefore, also reflects processes within the Specsavers business which are applicable to Newmedica as set out herewith.

Newmedica is one of the leading providers of National Health Service (NHS)-funded ophthalmology across England, and provides services for NHS Integrated Care Boards, NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, and other providers of NHS funded services. Newmedica delivers over 230,000 patient interactions annually, including outpatient appointments, diagnostic testing, and eye surgery. Newmedica employ 944 colleagues across 29 sites. As part of this service Newmedica is committed to ensuring that the people who deliver such critical services do so, free from any abuse, and in a safe and healthy environment. Newmedica has a zero-tolerance approach to any form of modern slavery and continues to put in place effective systems and controls to safeguard against any form of modern slavery risk throughout the business and across the services it delivers.

Our approach

Newmedica recognises the importance of training, raising awareness and embedding knowledge and understanding of human rights, ethical standards, and risks across the Newmedica business. Newmedica  takes a robust approach to recruitment to ensure that staff are safeguarded against human trafficking or being forced to work against their will. This approach is integral and is operated as follows:

  • Throughout any recruitment process staff conduct eligibility to work in the UK checks for all directly employed staff and locum workers.

  • We review all terms of recruitment agencies and ask them to provide assurance that pre-employment clearance have been obtained for agency staff.

  • Training about modern slavery and human trafficking is through mandatory safeguarding children and adults training programmes.  All staff are trained to the relevant level of Safeguarding for their role and training is aligned to the intercollegiate document for Safeguarding Adults: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff.

  • Advice is provided to staff through our safeguarding policies and procedures, and our safeguarding leads. 

  • Newmedica continues to monitor and comply with all respective laws and regulations to protect staff from poor treatment and/or exploitation. These include provision of fair pay, rates benchmarked to national standards, fair terms and conditions of employment, and access to training and development opportunities.

  • Newmedica operates a whistleblowing policy called ‘Raising Concerns’ so that all employees know that they can raise concerns about how colleagues or people receiving our services are being treated, or about practices within our business or supply chain, without fear of reprisals.

  • Within the Specsavers purchasing team, subject matter experts attend training on modern slavery and human trafficking risks within sourcing in supply chains.

Our procurement strategy

Newmedica’s main activity is the delivery of ophthalmology services, and Newmedica enters contractual relationships for the supply of equipment, instruments, consumables, goods not for resale and unitary from various suppliers across the globe. Newmedica has main contractor relationships (single tier) and relationships confined to the responsibility of the main contractor (second tier). Newmedica undertakes due diligence throughout the tender process and all suppliers must be compliant with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 or such other local regulation depending on the jurisdiction of the supplier. For NHS supply of services, Newmedica applies the NHS framework which overlays the NHS standard contracts. NHS standard contracts form a large element of the procurement for Newmedica and Newmedica is committed to adhering to the Standards of Business Conduct Code that is complementary to the NHS contracting framework.

The delivery of the Newmedica procurement strategy includes:  

  • Investing in the Newmedica team to ensure we have appropriate skills and subject matter experts to support the procurement strategy.

  • Working with suppliers who are carefully selected through a robust internal supplier selection criteria and process.

  • Upon award of selection, suppliers enter contracts which reflect and uphold Good Industry Practice provisions.

  • Ensuring Newmedica has visibility of sub-contractor credentials to be confident in the end-to-end supplier lifecycle.   

Managing risks

To manage and monitor risk, all Suppliers are subject to a monitoring programme, which enables Newmedica to review and identify any emerging risks in relation to modern slavery and ethical compliance. Any new and emerging risks shall be immediately reported to the Newmedica Board and Newmedica has the right to independently audit the supplier where required. This monitoring is an opportunity to ensure that suppliers remain committed to protecting the rights of all workers across the Newmedica supply chain.

Our plans

Newmedica will continue to apply strengthened contract management to manage any identified risks and where appropriate, work with suppliers if progressive improvement can be agreed. The subject matter experts within Newmedica will work openly and proactively with the suppliers throughout contract lifecycles to resolve issues and amend working practices as required.

Our performance indicators  

Newmedica has committed to adhering to the following performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of the above efficiencies:

  • Biannual acknowledgment from core suppliers to indicate their adherence and awareness of the basic modern slavery principles.

  • Regular board reporting on any new or emerging risks of modern slavery and ethical compliance both internal practices in relation to the labour force and the supply chain.

  • Completion of safeguarding training as a core induction element.

  • No reports received from our staff, the public, or law enforcement agencies to indicate that modern slavery practices have been identified.

Rebecca Lythe for and on behalf of New Medical Systems Limited

Managing Director – 3rd August 2023