Government fails to set deadline for checks on home care workers

The government has pledged to make changes to the beleagured
Criminal Records Bureau, but has still failed to set a date for the
checking of home care workers, writes Katie

In response to recommendations made by an independent review
team charged with examining the CRB, the government has announced
that it will introduce a system for electronic applications and
consider fingerprinting applicants.

Last November, the deadline for existing care home staff to be
checked has been extended from 31 March this year to 31 October
next year, and staff from domiciliary care and nursing agencies had
their time limit for checks extended indefinitely.

At a meeting to describe the proposed new measures for the CRB,
Lord Falconer, the home office minister with responsibility for the
organisation, told Community Care that there was still no
definite date in mind for the checking of domiciliary care staff.
He said that they would be brought into the process “as soon as is
reasonably practical”.

“The CRB didn’t work as it should have done,” he said. “We
will bring in groups of workers when it is able to cope with

Patrick Carter, who led the review team, added that taking on
more applicants at the moment would result in more delays as the
CRB could not currently cope with any expansion.

The government claimed that the service has improved since last
summer, with 80 per cent of standard disclosures and 50 per cent of
enhanced disclosures being issued within three weeks. Nearly a
million disclosures were issued during the last six months compared
to 186,000 during the first five months of operation.

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