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DBS Checks For NHS Workers: The Facts Explained

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If you work for the NHS in any capacity, then there’s a chance you will need a DBS check – but the level you qualify for will differ depending on exactly what it is you do and where the activity takes place.

We get a lot of questions about this here at uCheck, so we’ve put together a handy guide explaining all about DBS checks for NHS workers.


DBS checks for NHS workers: Healthcare professionals

Those employees who engage in regulated activity with adults or children will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS check with a check against either the children or vulnerable adults’ barred list as appropriate. This is the highest level of check available and would apply to the majority of healthcare professionals in the NHS, such as doctors, healthcare assistants and physiotherapists.

However, it’s not only healthcare professionals who qualify for an Enhanced DBS check – anyone who carries out regulated activity will qualify. This includes porters who transport patients around a hospital, as “conveying” those who are receiving healthcare is listed as part of the definition of regulated activity.


Standard DBS checks for NHS workers

There are many people working within the NHS who have access to patient wards but do not carry out a regulated activity – whether it be caterers, cleaners, receptionists or maintenance staff. Employees in these kinds of roles will likely be eligible for a Standard DBS check.

If you’re not sure whether the work you do is classed as a regulated activity, you can find out more here and here.


Basic DBS checks for NHS workers

The NHS employs thousands of workers who have no access to patients as part of their daily duties and are therefore not typically eligible for a higher level of DBS check.

However, those in these positions will still qualify for a Basic DBS check, which will reveal any unspent convictions an applicant may have. A Basic DBS check is not a legal requirement but could be suitable for delivery drivers, staff working in a hospital shop or administration staff working away from main hospital site – in other words, those who have no access to those in receipt of healthcare as part of their role.


DBS checks for NHS workers: A summary

Robust safeguarding is vital in an organisation like the NHS. DBS checks, therefore, play a major part in its recruitment process. While it can initially seem complex to work out which check is needed for each role, just remember:

  • Anyone carrying out regulated activity will qualify for the highest level of check – the Enhanced DBS
  • Access to patients without regulated activity means an applicant is eligible for a Standard DBS check
  • Basic checks can still be carried out for employees who don’t meet the above criteria.

If you have any questions about DBS checks for NHS workers, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we’d be happy to help

Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect uCheck Limited’s current thinking about best and common practice in the subjects discussed.

The information contained in our blogs have been provided for information purposes only. This information does not constitute legal, professional, or commercial advice. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the content is up to date, useful and accurate, uCheck gives no guarantees, undertakings, or warranties in this regard, or, for any loss or damage caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with reliance on the use of such information.

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