HC Deb 16 October 2002 vol 390 c892W
Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what procedures are in place to ensure that overseas-recruited(a) health workers and (b) social workers who are working with children have not been convicted of an offence that relates to crimes against children. [74318]

Jacqui Smith:2

Health Service Circular HSC 2002/008, Pre and Post Appointment Checks for All Persons Working in the NHS in England, instructs National Health Service bodies through the Secretary of State's power of direction to carry out a comprehensive range of pre and post appointment checks before appointments are confirmed. This includes the appointment of staff recruited from overseas. Where the post involves care of children within the terms of the Protection of Children Act, employers must check the Protection of Children Act List before making the appointment. In addition, before taking up such a post, applicants must inform the appointing NHS body if they have been convicted or charged with a criminal offence in the United Kingdom or in any other country. Failure to do so may be a dismissible offence.

The Criminal Records Bureau will soon be launching an advisory service to employers about the availability of criminal record checks in a variety of countries.

Equally it is the duty of individual social care employers to carry out necessary checks to ensure that employees recruited from oversees are fit to practice.

Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to issue a code of practice for social services departments recruiting social workers from other countries; and if he will make a statement. [74532]

Jacqui Smith

There are no current plans to issue a special code of practice covering recruitment from other countries. The onus is on the employer to ensure that all recruits meet appropriate standards, wherever they originate from.

At present the general social care council offers an "international recognition service" which can provide advice to employers on the status and standing of qualifications gained in other countries, for example that a certificate is or is not a professional qualification in social work in its country of origin. It is then for the employers to complete the usual recruitment checks verifying the information given by the applicant.

Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the conclusions of his assessment of the performance of the Director for International Recruitment in the year 2001–02. [71733]

Mr. Hutton

[holding reply issued on 22 July 2002]I refer the hon. Member to the response I gave him on 22 July 2002,Official Report, vol. 389, column 875W