DBS Check Delays
Delays to Disclosure Baring Service Checks (“DBS checks”)
On 14 January 2016 the London Evening Standard reporting that some trainee nurses have been unable to start their courses due to a backlog in completing DBS checks at Scotland Yard.
The issue was first commented on by the Metropolitan Police on 2 October 2015. A statement released on the gov.uk website said that:
“Currently, some applications going to the Met are taking much longer than our 60 day escalation target. For some applications it can take up to 130 days before applications are processed. We know you will be concerned by this and understand the impact this can have on applicants and employers.”
Unfortunately the position has not resolved itself. On 14 January the Evening Standard stated that:
“The force today admitted it has a backlog of more than 68,000 cases, which may not be cleared until the end of May. According to figures seen by the Standard, Scotland Yard is one of the worst performers of all forces in the UK for processing the checks. Fewer than 45 per cent of cases are completed within the target of 60 days, with the average waiting time 75 days. “- (Churchill, 2016)
Why is this relevant to the healthcare sector?
All providers of regulated activities need to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (“the CQC”). Within its own guidance, the CQC states that DBS checks are important to “ensure effective and safe recruitment practices” within the health and care sector.
The CQC requires an enhanced DBS check to be carried out for everyone applying to be a registered person, including individuals, all partners and registered managers.
All health and social care providers registered with the CQC are also responsible for carrying out DBS checks on eligible staff. This will include staff who provide health care in dental practices, medical practices, GP practices and other primary medical services.
The CQC has the power to take action against providers who do not carry out these checks as and when required, or providers who cannot evidence that they have carried out the required checks.
Things to consider
Be aware of these potential delays within the London area, and remember that similar delays may well be occurring in other areas, and take them into consideration.
This may have a particular impact if you are:
· recruiting new staff for your organisation/joining an organisation as a new member of staff when a DBS check is required;
· updating expired DBS checks for existing staff members within your organisation;
· registering as a sole provider or partnership with the CQC;
· buying or selling a dental practice (which will require changes to registrations with the CQC);
· varying your organisation’s registration with the CQC;
· making an application to register or change a registered manager with the CQC; or
· applying for any professional development or training program where a DBS check is required as part of the registration.
If you are applying to the CQC to register as a provider or vary an existing registration and a DBS check is required, the CQC will most likely be unwilling to deal with you application until you can provide them with a copy of your DBS check.
PS. All London Taxi drivers need a current check and they are starting to say some may be put off the road because of the delays. Beware if you visit Town!
For further information, please click here where you can find a guidance document on DBS checks.
For further information, please contact our Healthcare Team on:
T: 020 7383 7111
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© Churchill, D., 2016. Trainee nurses caught in criminal checks backlog. Evening Standard, [online] 14 January. Available at: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/trainee-nurses-caught-in-criminal-checks-backlog-a3156406.html [Accessed 15 January 2016].