Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust spent tens of thousands on contracts with Russian-owned Gazprom

The Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust has spent tens of thousands of pounds on contracts with Russian-owned energy firm Gazprom within the last six years, figures reveal.

Advertisement of the Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom displayed on an advertising during the UEFA Champions League round of sixteen first leg match at Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid. Picture date: Wednesday February 23, 2022. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.
Advertisement of the Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom displayed on an advertising during the UEFA Champions League round of sixteen first leg match at Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid. Picture date: Wednesday February 23, 2022. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.

The Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust has spent tens of thousands of pounds on contracts with Russian-owned energy firm Gazprom within the last six years, figures reveal.

Provided by data firm Tussell, the figures show the total public sector spend in the UK with the Gazprom between 2016 and 2021 was £107 million – and nearly a quarter (£77 million) was from NHS trusts.

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust accounted for £303,118 of the spend through contracts with the firm between 2018 and 2021.

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    The largest annual spend of £109,354 occurred in 2018.

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the NHS must stop using energy supplied by the Russian-owned firm Gazprom, a senior government source told the PA news agency.

    And the trust has said it is looking to sever ties with Russian and Belarussian companies, including Gazprom, as soon as possible.

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    Hundreds of civilians have been killed in the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has been condemned by leaders around the world.

    The source told PA: “Sajid has spoken with NHS England and been clear that trusts need to stop using Gazprom as a supplier.

    “He has also requested a wider review of any Russian role in supply chains across the health service.”

    It comes after Lord Simon Stevens, former head of NHS England, told the House of Lords that “decarbonising the health sector will take pound notes out of the hands of dictatorial regimes that are engaged in acts of aggression”.

    Meanwhile, a number of councils have said they want to end contracts with Gazprom and are considering alternative options.

    Local authorities accounted for £29 million (27%) of the public sector spend with Gazprom over six years.

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    Suffolk and Manchester were the councils most reliant on Gazprom, each spending more than £4 million within that time.

    A spokesperson for the Local Government Association said: “Councils are deeply saddened by the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine and are following the situation closely.

    “It is up to individual councils to decide how to act locally but, like many organisations, they will be reviewing what action they might want to take in light of UK sanctions and the ongoing situation.”

    The LGA added that it is looking at how to bring councils together next week to discuss their plans and agree shared approaches.

    Andrew Maloney, deputy director of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “We fully understand the strength of feeling of dealing with Russian organisations, given the current situation with Ukraine.

    “Our thoughts and compassion are with everyone who are being affected by these terrible events.

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    “GMMH is undertaking an urgent review of our supply chains to identify and exit at the earliest possible opportunity our contractual relationships with Russian and Belarussian suppliers. This includes Gazprom.”