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DBS Checks for Healthcare workers and NHS

All healthcare workers who provide care to vulnerable adults or children will require an enhanced DBS check.

This is because healthcare provision to a vulnerable adult or child is classed as a form of ‘regulated activity’ in legislation, and safeguarding measures are put in place.

What type of DBS Check is needed and how to request this?

There are three types of DBS Checks, Basic, Standard and Enhanced. A basic one can be requested by anyone, Standard and Enhanced DBS checks should only be applied for when someone will be carrying out the activities that would make them eligible for a check. They shouldn’t be applied for because someone ‘may in the future’ carry out that work. The organisation deciding whether the applicant is suitable for the role or not, is also responsible for working out the level of check that the role is eligible for.

For Carers and Healthcare workers, an enhanced level of DBS check is needed. An enhanced level of DBS differs from the lower standard check as it can also include a search on the adult and children’s barred lists. Individuals can only be searched against these lists if they work in ‘regulated activity’ with vulnerable adults or children, including healthcare professionals.

All enhanced checks must be requested by an employer, company body or relevant organisation as mentioned by the Disclosure Barring Service legislation. Unfortunately, they cannot be requested by the individual themselves.

DBS Check for healthcare professional

Any healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist for example, if they have their own company will be able to request a check as they are technically the employer in this sense that the company name will be on the certificate and not their individual details.  For this process however someone else must complete their ID check to ensure the authenticity of their documents.

Now, if the healthcare professional does not have their own company but is eligible for a DBS check for example, someone who is self-employed undertaking locum work for instance then they should contact their regulatory body who should be able to request the check on their behalf else their local council who can do this or the relevant agency that they obtain their work through.

Specific roles in the social care sector
Here are some examples of different types of adult social care roles:
• Health care professionals
• Care workers
• Home share
• Shared lives
• Adult social workers
• Office of the Public Guardian
• Power of Attorney
• Deputies
• Staying put
• Transportation
• Adult care settings – this section will also address auxiliary roles such as
cleaners or maintenance workers

Contracting to the NHS?

For those not directly employed by the NHS, but contracted to provide services, they may also need to obtain checks on staff. The following online document confirms the NHS policy on checking staff . Contractors should be informed of the level of Disclosure they should obtain.

For any organisation dealing with data relating to patients, the Health and Social Care Information Centre have produced guidance on the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) website, using the IG Toolkit under requirement number 111.


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