Care home staff given longer to complete criminal checks

The time limits set for criminal records checks to be completed
for staff working in care homes, nursing and domiciliary care
agencies have been extended, writes Katie

Care home staff who were employed before 1 April 2002 have had
the time limit for their checks by the Criminal Records Bureau
extended by more than a year.

Existing staff were previously required to have their checks
completed by 31 March 2003, but can now obtain them “during the
course of 2004”. However, new care home staff and registered
providers and managers will still need completed CRB checks.

Meanwhile, staff supplied by domiciliary care and nursing
agencies have had their time limit for checks extended

Regulations for these agencies are still expected to come into
effect in February next year, but without the requirement for CRB
checks. Instead staff will have to provide a statement setting out
whether or not they have a criminal conviction.

In a written answer to the House of Commons, home office
minister Lord Falconer admitted that the CRB “has not so far been
able to provide a satisfactory service”.

He said that while the government recognised the importance of
criminal records checks, providers must still be able to

“Care homes have to be able to continue to employ existing staff
and we believe the domiciliary care agencies and nurses agencies
should not be prevented from being able to place staff because they
have not obtained checks,” he said.

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