Checks into Background of Carers Postponed
Nigel Morris Political Correspondent, The Independent (London, England)
CRIMINAL RECORD checks on tens of thousands of care workers, nurses and school governors have been postponed by the Government.
Ministers made the embarrassing decision to avoid a repeat of the chaos at the Criminal Records Bureau this summer when it was told to scrutinise teachers' backgrounds. A backlog of 100,000 uncompleted checks built up at the overwhelmed bureau, causing some schools to delay the start of term.
The Home Office extended the deadline yesterday for checks on 80,000 care workers from next March to the end of 2004. Checks on school governors and agency nurses are also being deferred for the time being.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the Home Office minister responsible, said: "We need to take steps to ensure that the demand for disclosures is in line with the CRB's current ability to process the applications. The Government is committed to the delivery of an effective service for undertaking pre- employment criminal record checks for people working with children and vulnerable adults. …