A social prescriber is a fairly new and broad role within the healthcare sector – meaning it could be eligible for different levels of DBS Check.
If you are or are looking to hire a social prescriber and are unsure of the legislation, we’ve put together this short guide on DBS Checks for social prescribers.
What is a social prescriber?
Social prescribers usually work in one of the following:
- GP surgeries
- Health centres
- NHS establishments
Their job is to connect service users with non-medical support. This is a way of enabling GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals to refer patients to a range of services that will enable them to achieve better health.
What level of DBS Checks are social prescribers eligible for?
A social prescriber performing their job as mentioned above would be eligible for a Standard DBS Check, as they would have access to patients in receipt of healthcare. Signposting – providing a service user with information on organisations that may be able to help and guide them – is not an activity that requires a higher level of check as no direct advice and guidance is being provided by the social prescriber themselves.
However, a social prescriber can perform other functions within their role that make them eligible for a higher level of check.
If they also perform a regulated activity within their role, they are able to obtain an Enhanced DBS Check with a check against the adults’ barred list.
If a social prescriber is offering direct advice and guidance to adults on their health and well-being but not performing a regulated activity, they could then obtain the Enhanced level of DBS Check without a check against the adults barred list.
What is regulated activity?
Regulated activity refers to certain roles carried out by applicants in relation to children and, in the case of social prescribers, vulnerable adults. It covers various types of activities which, by their nature, would cause an individual to become eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check with a check against the applicable barred list.
Regulated activity with adults includes:
- Healthcare for adults provided by, or under the direction or supervision of, a regulated health care professional
- Personal care for adults, involving:
- Hands-on physical assistance with washing and dressing, eating, drinking and toileting
- Prompting and supervising an adult with any of these tasks because of their age, illness or disability
- Teaching someone to do one of these tasks
- Social work – provision by a social care worker of social work which is required in connection with any health services or social services
- Assistance with an adult’s cash, bills or shopping because of their age, illness or disability, arranged via a third party
- Assisting in the conduct of an adult’s own affairs under a formal appointment
- Conveying adults for reasons of age, illness or disability to, from, or between places where they receive healthcare, personal care or social work arranged via a third party
- Day-to-day management or supervision of anyone carrying out any of the activities listed above
While a majority of social prescribers will only be eligible for a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check, this will fully depend on the specific employee’s responsibilities. If one of these falls under the definition of regulated work, then they will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check with a check against the adults’ barred list.
We hope that this guide on DBS Checks for social prescribers has been useful. You can apply for a number of DBS Checks through our simple online platform – most checks are completed within 48 hours.