Tougher checks planned for care home staff

Tougher
checks on staff working with the elderly and adults with learning disabilities
will help to prevent abuse and neglect, the Government said today.

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 working 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 nursing agency
staff.

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.

"Today’s
decision clearly demonstrates the Government has listened to the concerns of
those who speak up for the most frail and vulnerable members of our
society."

The
introduction of these checks is now possible following the substantial
improvement in the CRB’s performance since last summer. In the last two months,
it has issued an average of 44,000 disclosures a week, compared with 24,500 a
week in August 2002. It is now meeting its service standards for turnaround
times.

By Quentin Reade

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