Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Why are DBS checks important for hospital workers?

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks, formerly known as CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks, and sometimes called criminal record checks, are vital for hospital workers due to several reasons:

Patient Safety

Hospitals are environments where vulnerable individuals, such as patients, are present. DBS checks help ensure that those working within hospitals, including doctors, nurses, support staff and volunteers, do not pose a risk to patient safety due to their criminal history. This is especially crucial in healthcare settings where patients may be in a compromised state of health and unable to protect themselves adequately.

Preventing Harm

Healthcare workers have access to sensitive information and are often in close proximity to patients, sometimes in intimate situations. DBS checks help prevent individuals with a history of violent or abusive behaviour from working in roles where they could cause harm to patients, whether physical, emotional or psychological.

Maintaining Trust

Hospitals are places where people seek care during their most vulnerable moments. Trust is fundamental in the patient-provider relationship. Conducting DBS checks reassures patients and their families that the healthcare providers treating them have undergone thorough background screening, contributing to maintaining trust in the healthcare system.

Compliance with Regulations

In many jurisdictions, healthcare providers are legally obligated to ensure that their staff members undergo background checks, including DBS checks, as part of their hiring process. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal consequences for the hospital or healthcare institution.

Protecting Reputation

Hospitals have a responsibility to uphold their reputation as safe and trustworthy institutions. Hiring individuals with a history of criminal behaviour without conducting proper background checks can lead to negative publicity, damage to the hospital's reputation and loss of public trust.

Risk Management

Conducting criminal record checks is a form of risk management for hospitals. By identifying individuals with a history of criminal behaviour, hospitals can take appropriate measures to mitigate potential risks, such as implementing closer supervision or providing additional training and support.


Overall, DBS checks play a crucial role in safeguarding patients, maintaining trust in healthcare providers and ensuring compliance with legal regulations. They are an essential part of the hiring process for hospital workers, contributing to the overall safety and integrity of healthcare services provided to the community.