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Care worse in big practices, say patients

Practices have been warned to ensure locums have had a criminal records check before they take them on.

LMCs said not all locums would be caught in an exercise by primary care organisations to ensure GPs have been checked by the criminal rec-ords bureau.

Dr Peter Graves, chief executive of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire LMC, said, as employers, practices could be vulnerable if a locum who had not had their record checked acted unlawfully.

'In a worst-case scenario, if doctors are found to be abusing children, practices could be in a vulnerable position with regard to the law,' he said. He called on agencies to ensure locums had been checked.

The National Association of Sessional GPs said it believed PCOs should have responsibility for ensuring CRB checks are in place for all doctors working in their area.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of the association, said he had sympathy with practices' concerns: 'It would not surprise me if no sessional GPs in England had had a CRB check, but I think they should and PCOs should be more proactive.'

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