Minister demands guarantees from providers on supervising new staff

Health minister Stephen Ladyman has told the home care sector that
he wants “guarantees” before there is any relaxation on the
regulations surrounding Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks.

Speaking at the annual home care conference in central London last
week, Ladyman told providers that induction processes were
essential and that CRB checks by themselves “will not prevent

He told the industry that they were not in a position to tell him
that they could be “trusted” to supervise new staff while waiting
for CRB checks to come through.

“If you want the regulations relaxed – I want guarantees,” Ladyman
said. “Until I have them and until you accept that new staff need
to be supervised, the regulations will stay.”

Last month the National Care Standards Commission withdrew interim
guidance that enabled staff to start work while waiting for their
CRB check to be processed as long as other checks, such as
references, had been made.

Ladyman said induction processes were a vital part of employment
checks: “No employer of home care staff should rely on the CRB
check as the sole means of making sure new recruits are suitable.

“Other pre-employment checks are just as important. Equally
important is making sure induction processes are in place and there
is continual development, monitoring and support of staff.”

UK Home Care Association chairperson Bill McClimont said he
understood that it would be difficult for Ladyman to relax the
rules surrounding CRB checks but that new recruits were not
prepared to wait up to 11 weeks for their CRB check and to start

“The CRB check is important but it’s not the be-all and end-all. If
that additional safety is going to completely wreck recruitment in
the sector I don’t think that’s a trade-off that’s worth making,”
McClimont said.

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