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GP leaders demand CRB checks for 111 call handlers

LMC leaders are demanding the Government ramp up checks on call handlers for the new 111 urgent care number, after it emerged that under current plans they will not require CRB vetting.

Berkshire LMC has raised the issue in meetings with local 111 providers and has called for a national agreement after GPs expressed ‘significant concerns'.

Dr Paul Roblin, chairman of Berks, Bucks and Oxon LMC, told Pulse: ‘It would seem illogical and a nonsense if people who are receiving contact details of potentially vulnerable people are not CRB-checked.'

‘For the safety and protection of the public, call centre staff need to be CRB checked.'

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said it had no national policy requiring call handlers to undergo CRB vetting, ‘because they are just handling calls and are not in physical contact with vulnerable people'. One prominent GP involved in urgent care who asked not to be named said requiring checks could be seen as ‘the heavy hand of bureaucracy.'

But Dr David Lloyd, medical director of out-of-hours provider Harmoni, said: ‘As a major bidder for the 111 contract, I can say that all our nurses and call handlers are CRB checked.'

‘We have been doing that for years in out of hours because our handlers come into contact with confidential information on a daily basis.'