Compulsory checks for care home staff

The National Care Standards Commission has confirmed that from
October all new adult care home staff will need a criminal records
check before they start work.

NCSC guidance to adult care homes, issued in June 2002, had allowed
new staff to be employed while they were waiting for their check to
go through as long as other checks, such as references, had been
carried out.

But new guidance appearing on the NCSC’s website last week confused
the issue by stating that all new care home staff had to have a
check before they started working and that it would be illegal to
employ staff before one had been obtained. Others received letters
also telling them this (news, page 9, 21 August).

The guidance on the website has now been amended. But National Care
Homes Association chief executive Sheila Scott was concerned that
many owners and managers did not have access to the internet and
would not know that the information in the letters was wrong.

The NCSC said it had no plans to write to individual homes to
highlight the error in the original letter.

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