DBS Checks for GP Practices

It’s not just doctors who work in our GP practices. A busy health centre might have admin staff, receptionists, nurses, midwives and even offer services like physiotherapy. Most of us are aware that doctors and nurses need DBS checks. But what about all of the other people working in a GP practice?

Regulated Activity

Practice managers are the people who decide what workers need to have DBS checks. They have to stick to the criteria laid down by the government when making their decision. The guidance runs to dozens of pages but all boils down to one thing, the concept of “regulated activity”. Only people who are doing jobs which fall into the category of regulated activity can have a DBS check. As far as GP practices are concerned, regulated activity could include:

  • Providing healthcare to patients
  • Chaperoning patients during a consultation
  • Managing people working directly with patients

Standard or Enhanced DBS Checks?

The other main issue is whether staff need standard or enhanced DBS checks in order to work in the practice. In many cases it’s obvious. Anyone working as a doctor or nurse will need an enhanced DBS check as they will be seeing patients either in the surgery or in their own homes. This level of checking also applies to other professionals like health visitors, podiatrists or physiotherapists. Usually having a police check is compulsory to register with the relevant professional body. Practice managers shouldn’t assume that everyone has a valid DBS check though, and new starters should be checked again. If the member of staff has registered with the DBS Update service, then this process is even quicker. All the applicant has to do is log back into their account to give their employer instant access to their records.

Other roles within a GP practice will require standard DBS checks. This includes admin staff and receptionists. These types of roles won’t need an enhanced DBS check, but will need a standard check. These sorts of checks are very similar to enhanced checks in that they will show all previous convictions and cautions on someone’s police record.

Getting DBS Checks

The process for getting a DBS check is the same, irrespective of the level. First, applicants complete the form to apply for their DBS check. It’s easiest to do this online, and it’s the quickest way of getting your form to the next stage of the process. Applicants then have to prove both their identity and their address. They will have to show their employer a range of identity documents like passport and driving licence with photographs on them, and also proof of address like utility bills or bank statements. The DBS then checks that they have all of the information they require before sending off the information to the police. After the police have run checks against the computer, they will produce a certificate with the information on it. If you have no police record, there will be nothing listed on the certificate. For lots of jobs in a GP practice, you’ll need your certificate before starting work.