DBS Checks for NHS Hospital Staff

NHS DBS Checks

NHS hospitals need their employees to apply for a DBS check as an essential part of their recruitment process. To ensure safeguarding principles are met, and the children and vulnerable adults currently in a hospital are protected, and free from harm. DBS checks go a long way in ensuring employee suitability for a position.

However, the NHS has numerous job roles, and there is some confusion about what type of DBS check is required for certain positions.

As far as COVID-19 is concerned, many people may still be required to lend their services to the NHS, on a paid or voluntary basis. For those that are, a DBS check application will be needed.

But which DBS check do you require?

The three levels of DBS check are available to specific hospital staff. Many roles within hospitals do not involve directly providing healthcare or carrying out any regulated activity. Hopefully, this guide will prove useful.

Types of DBS Check

  • Basic DBS Check – this will reveal any of the applicant’s unspent convictions.
  • Standard DBS Check – this reveals any spent or unspent convictions as well as any cautions, reprimands or final warnings that the applicant has.
  • Enhanced DBS Check – this will disclose the same information as a Standard DBS check, along with any information held by the applicant’s local police force. It will also include an Adults’ or Children’s Barred List check (if eligible).
  • Find out more about what DBS checks show.Basic DBS checks are available to anybody aged 16 and over, whereas specific criteria needs to be met to be eligible for a Standard or Enhanced DBS check.

Basic DBS Checks

The NHS employs an enormous amount of workers who have no access to patients directly on a ward as part of their daily duties, therefore they are not eligible for a higher level of DBS check.

Some examples:

  • Delivery drivers
  • Administration staff with no access to patients
  • Hospital restaurant staff (their contact with patients would be classed as incidental)

Standard DBS Checks

Employees are eligible for Standard DBS checks if they have access to patient wards as part of their jobs, but are not carrying out any regulated activity.

Some examples:

  • Cleaners
  • Catering staff
  • Receptionists
  • Administration staff with access to patients

Enhanced DBS Check

If an applicant is engaging in any regulated activity with vulnerable adults and/or children as part of their role, they are eligible for an Enhanced DBS application with a Barred List check.

Enhanced DBS checks for individuals are required if they are carrying out any regulated activities, namely, healthcare, social and personal care. These are all regulated activities, so any person who carries out these types of regulated activities in a hospital must apply for an Enhanced DBS check.

Providing healthcare:

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Psychotherapists
  • First-aid workers
  • Physiotherapists and osteopaths

Providing personal care:

Providing social care:

  • Social care to a vulnerable adult or child who is an existing or potential client.

NHS Porters and DBS Checks

There is a bit of a grey area surrounding whether porters need to apply for a Standard check or Enhanced check. It depends on what or who they are transporting.

If they are transporting equipment, and have access to patients on wards, they must apply for a Standard DBS check.

If they transport patients directly to, from or between places where they are receiving care, this counts as a regulated activity. Therefore, they must apply for Enhanced DBS checks.

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