Ruffley Slams Criminal Records Fiasco in the Care Home Sector

Monday, 22 September, 2003

David Ruffley MP for Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket has signed an House of Commons Motion highlighting the negative effects of the Government's ongoing interference in the care home sector.

David said, 'This House of Commons motion emphasises the concerns that I have been highlighting about the overbearing regulations that the Government has been imposing on the care home sector.

'As of 1 October, care home operators will not be able to employ new staff unless a Criminal Records Bureau clearance has been received. I believe that whilst there is a shortage of staff in this sector, those awaiting their disclosure should be allowed to work. I believe that the Government must show a far more speedy, sensible and pragmatic approach to security clearances for care home staff.

'The Government's ongoing obsession with interfering with the care home sector and in the Criminal Records Bureau checks for care home staff is only causing further concern for care home operators.

'Care home staff are highly valued and sought after members of our community. The Government should concentrate on encouraging more people to get involved in the care home sector rather than introducing endless barriers their employment.'

Text of Motion

That this House notes with concern the statement issued by the National Care Standards Commission on 21st August announcing that the interim guidance for care home operators issued in June was to be completely withdrawn from the end of September; is further concerned that care home operators will therefore not be able to employ new staff unless a Criminal Records Bureau clearance has been received; concludes that the enforcement of the new arrangements, which will commence on 1st October, will therefore lead to further care home closures and misery for residents of those homes and their families; endorses the importance of CRB disclosures as one element of the recruitment procedure set out in Schedule 2 to the Care Home Regulations 2001, but considers that the interim guidance issued by the NCSC in June is a far more appropriate and pragmatic approach to the security clearances for care home staff; considers it both sensible and practical that care home operators should allow staff to begin work, subject to robust employment procedures and supervision, while awaiting their CRB disclosure to be issued; condemns the Government's continuous and intrusive interference in the implementation of CRB checks for care home staff; and recognises the need for a properly thought-through approach to the conduct of criminal records checks for care home staff.