Overseas staff: the Criminal Records Bureau leaves a gaping hole in staff checks

Without staff from abroad the social care system – not to mention the NHS – would have ground to a halt by now.

The expansion of Europe has brought increasing numbers of migrant workers here to take on jobs that local people don’t want to do. Some of the new arrivals are choosing to work in the traditionally low-paid domiciliary care sector and their contribution is welcome. But it is a matter of serious concern that there appears to be no effective system for checking their background or suitability for working with highly vulnerable clients.

How is it possible that someone can just turn up in this country and, as long as their address checks out, the Criminal Records Bureau will give them the all-clear? For those from within the EU at least, surely it is possible to set up a system to allow authorities to share information and enable adequate checks to be made.

The General Social Care Council has said it will be relying on employers and agencies to verify the suitability of domiciliary care staff when it opens the social care register to this group later this year. However, this needs coordinated action from the top. As an organisation dedicated to protecting the public, the GSCC should take the lead on this issue.

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Regulator puts onus on employers to plug foreign criminal checks gap

This article appeared in the 29 March issue under the headline “A gap in the records”

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