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Hunt rejects criminal record checks on all NHS volunteers in wake of Savile scandal

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1122 (Published 26 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1122
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has rejected a recommendation from a report into lessons learnt from the Jimmy Savile scandal that all volunteers working in the NHS should have criminal record checks every three years.

Instead he has said that NHS trusts should take a “considered approach” to checks on volunteers and that they should use disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks only for those volunteers who were likely to work closely with patients. He said that a system where all volunteers underwent such checks, as recommended in the report, “may not, in itself, have stopped Savile.”

In a statement to the House of Commons Hunt said, “They [trusts] should also ensure proper safeguarding procedures are in place locally as well as the DBS process because it would be wrong to rely on a national database as a …

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