Homes bewildered by conflicting guides

M any heads of care homes for adults are concerned that they may
have employed staff illegally because of confusion over new
guidance on checks from the Criminal Records Bureau.

Guidance on the National Care Standards Commission’s website
earlier this week stated that all care homes’ staff should have a
CRBcheck before starting work and that it would be illegal to
employ staff without one first being obtained.

However, interim guidance in June said new staff could start work
while waiting for their check to be processed by the CRBas long as
other checks, such as references, have been made. However, this
guidance is only applicable to those who work with adults.

An NCSC spokesperson said providers of care homes for adults should
have known that the latest guidance was not applicable to them. At
a meeting two weeks ago, care home owners were told that the NCSC’s
interim guidance would remain applicable.

Sheila Scott, chief executive of the National Care Homes
Association, said she had received many phone calls from worried
care home bosses.

She added that she was “extremely confused” in light of the NCSC’s
comments and called for clarification. If the guidance did apply to
care homes, recruitment would be “almost impossible” with people
unwilling to wait for the time it takes for a check to go through
before they can start working, she said.

The NCSC spokesperson said it would look at amending the website if
it was necessary.

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