An introduction to DBS checks for GP surgeries

DBS checks for GP surgeries

Most people who work within the healthcare industry will have heard of DBS checks, but what do they actually entail and who is required to have one?
Healthcare is known as a ‘regulated activity’, which means that anyone delivering direct care is required to undergo a check with regard to past criminal behaviour, in order to safeguard those with whom they are working. Furthermore, anyone overseeing those responsible for delivering direct care are also required to have such a check.

What does a basic DBS check entail?

A basic DBS check provides details such as the worker’s name, address and date of birth. Checks are undertaken against all current and prior names of a worker and information regarding any convictions, cautions or final warnings are disclosed. This disclosure does not cover any of those sanctions that are deemed ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

Checks for Healthcare Professionals.

As a regulated activity, checks for those delivering care need to be a little more detailed than the basic. This is known as an enhanced check, which will disclose to a potential employer both spent and unspent convictions and cautions, as well as any warnings and reprimands. Furthermore, healthcare professionals have to be checked against what is known as the ‘barred lists’, to ensure that they have not been barred from working with vulnerable adults or children.

It is also wise for GP surgeries to ensure that non-healthcare staff, such as receptionists and administrative staff, have at least a standard check. Whilst not directly providing care, they often have face to face contact with patients and so a standard check would be appropriate for safeguarding purposes. Checks can be undertaken online these days, which speeds up the process and ensures that vital checks are done efficiently and within a timely manner. Companies such as can provide wholly online services that enable GPs to provide checks for all their staff at the appropriate level of disclosure.

As a final safeguarding measure, GPs should check with their regulatory body as to when checks should be made and for how long they should be left before new disclosures are required. By taking some time to ascertain which staff require each level of disclosure check, GPs can ensure that their patients are safeguarded and all legal requirements are met.

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