A Guide To DBS Checks for Hospital Staff
Hospital workers have direct contact with vulnerable people on a daily basis. One of the best ways to make sure that people are safeguarded in hospitals is to carry out criminal background checks on any staff that have direct, unsupervised contact with vulnerable people.
This article will take a look at how DBS checks work for hospital staff and how to get them processed.
What Are DBS Checks?
A DBS Check is a criminal record check that is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in England and Wales, and Disclosure Scotland for those North of the border.
DBS Checks involve searching through the Police National Computer (PNC) for details on any convictions, depending on the level of check applied for. They are a valuable tool in vetting employees and volunteers, especially for roles that are safeguarding-critical such as hospital workers.
What Level of DBS Check Is Needed for Hospital Staff?
There are four main levels of DBS check – Basic, Standard, Enhanced, and Enhanced with Barred List check. The level required depends on the responsibilities and activities carried out within the role.
Hospital Roles That May Require A Basic DBS Check
A Basic DBS Check only searches for unspent criminal convictions and is therefore only used for jobs that do not involve working with children or vulnerable adults, or any other patients for that matter. Job roles may include admin staff, maintenance technicians, lab workers, etc.
Hospital Roles That May Require A Standard DBS Check
A Standard DBS Check is used to reveal details of any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, warnings, or reprimands that are present on a person’s criminal record. The standard check is mainly used for people that may come into regular contact with patients or any visitors, but they do not have direct, unsupervised contact or are involved in one-to-one patient care. Job roles may include cleaners, food service workers, etc.
Hospital Roles That May Require An Enhanced DBS Check
An Enhanced DBS Check involves searching for spent and unspent convictions, warnings, cautions, reprimands, and also any relevant notes that are held on file by local police departments.
In fact, the highest level of check is the Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List, and that will be applied to any regulated activities within the hospital. A regulated activity is defined by the DBS as any role that requires direct, unsupervised contact with vulnerable adults and children. Hospital roles that fit this description include doctors, nurses, porters, ambulance drivers, etc.
Please note that any hospital workers that cover the children’s ward or a children’s hospital will be automatically requested to get an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List.
Do Hospital Volunteers Need A DBS Check?
Most hospitals rely on volunteer staff to keep things working as they should, especially service staff. A voluntary worker is someone that spends time doing an activity within a business or organisation (including a hospital) without receiving any financial or material gain in return.
Volunteers can often get a free, or reduced fee, DBS check as long as they pass certain criteria. The definition of a volunteer, as set out by the DBS, is as follows:
A volunteer is a person that must not:
- Benefit directly from the job role or position in material terms
- Receive financial compensation for the voluntary service, other than remuneration for basic expenses
- Be enrolled on a work placement program
- Be in a placement for a training course
- Be in a role that leads, or may lead, to a permanent and paid position.
Again, the level of check that volunteers need depends on what activities they are carrying out. If it involves working directly with vulnerable people, then an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List will be required. If the role has less responsibility, they will either need a standard or basic check.
If you’re interested in finding out more about DBS checks or criminal background checks for hospital workers, then contact us today.