§ Mr. Dawson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will discuss with the Home Secretary the application of the(a) Care Standards Act 2000 and (b) Police Act 1997 to access for inspectors for the National Care Standards Commission to criminal records information about staff in care homes. 
§ Jacqui Smith
Officials from the Department of Health and the Home Office meet and are in discussion about the application of the Care Standards Act 2000 and the Police Act 1997 in relation to criminal records checks on care home staff.
National Care Standards Commission inspectors have access to staff records held by care homes. All new staff must have provided a satisfactory Criminal Records Bureau check. Unfortunately, due to delays at the CRB in processing applications for criminal records disclosures, checks on staff in post immediately before April 2002 have been postponed to 31 October 2004. However, this timetable will be brought forward if possible.