Tougher background checks as CRB hits targets

Tougher background checks are being introduced on people working with the
elderly and adults with learning disabilities to prevent abuse and neglect.

New plans will see Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks on existing care
home staff done at the highest level – using information held by the police to
determine if people are suitable for work with vulnerable adults.

Improvements to the CRB’s performance and capacity means the Government can
also use enhanced checks on new and existing home help staff and new agency
nursing staff.

Announcing the more rigorous checks, community care minister Stephen Ladyman
said: "Care home providers, organisations representing vulnerable people,
local councils and many individuals were among those who said that older people
and those with learning disabilities or other needs should have the maximum
level of protection from dangerous or unscrupulous individuals."

The introduction of the checks is now possible following the substantial
improvement in the CRB’s performance since last summer.

In the past two months, it has issued an average of 44,000 disclosures a
week, compared with 24,500 a week in August 2002 and is now meeting its service
standards for turnaround times.


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