Nurses will be able to challenge inaccurate criminal records certificates before they are shown to trusts as part of a radical shake-up of vetting systems.
The government has announced the “common sense” changes following strong criticism of vetting and barring procedures.
Previously, workers applying for a criminal records bureau check were unable to correct mistakes before details were handed to employers.
This meant that some were refused jobs or sacked on the basis of faulty information.
A review of the scheme, published on Friday, states: “Although the number [of faulty records] is relatively small, when it does happen, the consequences can be devastating.”
The CRB disclosed an incorrect record on 631 occasions from April to December 2010.
However, now employees can check and correct information before showing records to their employers.
The government has also decided to merge the Criminal Records Bureau with the controversial new Independent Safeguarding Authority to provide a more “proportionate” vetting and barring service.
Registration with the vetting and barring scheme – which was halted last year following complaints about the burdensome process – will no longer be required.
But the government has not bowed to calls to overhaul the way professionals can appeal decisions to bar them from working with children and vulnerable adults.
Dai Durbridge, safeguarding lead lawyer at Browne Jacobson solicitors, said: “It’s unfortunate they have opted not to carry out a full review into the scheme and have only looked at one slice of the cake.”
Last week Nursing Times reported that nurses being automatically barred by the ISA were taking the Home Office to the European Court of Human Rights to seek compensation (news, age 5, 8 February).
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