Backlog of DBS applications poses risk to health and care sector

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb has pressed the Government over reports that the recruitment of vital healthcare staff is being hindered by administrative delays.


Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are used to check the criminal records of people applying for certain jobs, such as working with children or in healthcare, but there have been reports of a vast backlog of DBS applications waiting to be processed. In an email seen by Norman Lamb, the Metropolitan Police stated that it is “working on [DBS] cases that are approximately 130 days old due to a backlog of around 71,000 applicants.”

 In response to a written parliamentary question, a Home Office Minister admitted that the Metropolitan Police Service is not meeting its targets for the time taken to complete DBS checks, and that a recovery plan has been put in place. Norman Lamb has now pressed the Government to be honest about the full scale of the problem.

“It is completely unacceptable that thousands of people are being prevented from starting work because of these delays – particularly at a time when health and care organisations are already experiencing difficulty recruiting,” said Mr. Lamb.

“There can be no justification for this, and I have asked the Home Secretary Theresa May if she will publish information on the performance of every police force in the country. I hope that the Government will take immediate steps to clear the backlog and speed up the application process, so that people can move into their new jobs as quickly as possible.” 

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