Adult mental health service staff background checks (FOI)
Adult mental health service staff background checks (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 03 May 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
I am interested in the background checks for staff working in the adult mental health service. [redacted]
I would like to know the following:
What checks take place on staff appointed including DBS level?
How frequently are these redone?
Who monitors when staff DBS checks need renewing? How many are currently out of date?
What is the policy in terms of employing staff within adult mental health with criminal convictions? What is the threshold for not employing?
Who makes the decision on whether to employ if a criminal conviction is identified?
The Director of Adult mental Health has recently employed [redacted]. Who approved this appointment?
How many staff in adult mental health have criminal convictions listed on their DBS checks?"
A number of checks are completed for staff appointed, depending on the nature of the role. This includes a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which for staff with direct patient facing roles is completed at enhanced level. Additional checks include references and qualification checks. Applicants are also required to self-declare convictions or other issues of note as part of the application process.
Currently these checks are redone on a three yearly basis in line with the Safer Recruitment Policy. They are also redone if the person changes roles.
There is a Health and Community Services (HCS) dashboard held by Human Resources (HR) that identifies when DBS checks are due to be renewed or completed, and these are carried out automatically by the external provider of DBS checks. Currently, 5% of HCS’ workforce have DBS checks that sit outside the three-year window.
The employment of staff with criminal convictions is assessed on an individual basis. A number of factors are considered, including the nature of the conviction(s), length of time since the conviction, potential relevance to the role, and the context of the conviction. The threshold for not employing will be determined by this assessment, and the assessment of potential risk in relation to the role.
The decision to employ if a conviction is identified is made by the appointing manager, supported by HR colleagues. On occasion the employing manager may also seek the advice of a more senior manager and or discuss with other members of the appointments panel.
The appointment of this member of staff was agreed by the appointing manager and other members of the interview panel. This comprised an administration manager, the Director of Mental Health and Adult Social Care, and an HR representative.
This information is not held by the Government of Jersey and, therefore, Article 3 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies. Individual DBS checks are completed and held by an external agency. The Government of Jersey are notified on an individual basis when the DBS has a disclosure on it. This is then addressed by the relevant (appointing) manager and HR colleagues. In line with the DBS Code of Practice, no record or photocopy of the DBS can be kept by the Government of Jersey, and a note of any issues can only be kept for a period of up to 6 months to resolve any concerns with the candidate, and not as a way of logging DBS convictions.
Article 3 - Meaning of “information held by a public authority”
For the purposes of this Law, information is held by a public authority if –
(a) it is held by the authority, otherwise than on behalf of another person; or
(b) it is held by another person on behalf of the authority.