'Unfair' vetting system for healthcare staff to be reviewed

Reforms to the way healthcare staff are vetted when working with vulnerable adults or children are to be reviewed, following criticism from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Dr Carter said the vetting system has already started to have an effect on some RCN members
Dr Carter said the vetting system has already started to have an effect on some RCN members

The government has announced it is to halt plans for the new Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), due to take over monitoring individuals who work with children and vulnerable adults, until the changes have been reviewed.

The RCN has argued for 18 months that changes to the Vetting and Barring scheme could lead to nurses being 'disproportionately' barred from the profession for up to 10 years for minor offences.

Barred nurses will have to wait 10 years until their case is reviewed and have no right to appeal against the ruling unless there is fresh evidence, say the RCN.

RCN chief executive Dr Peter Carter said the changes were already starting to have a disproportionate effect on some RCN members.

'As it stands there is an apparent duplication with other healthcare regulators, and no adequate safeguards against ill-founded allegations, which could leave nursing staff disproportionately barred for 10 years for less serious disciplinary offences, and with no effective right of appeal,' he said.

The reforms were intended to be completed by 2015.

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