Friday, 26 February 2010

Balancing risks or covering backs?

Paediatricians have to have a CRB check for every NHS trust they work in. This small group tend to move around the country more than other specialist doctors in order to perform operations or cover absences.

It can take two months for a check to arrive and, as a result sick children have to travel long distances to see a surgeon or have their operations delayed. The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has strongly criticised the "overzealous" interpretations of the rules by NHS trusts and long delays in returning results.

The RCS said medical staff with an enhanced CRB check should be allowed to work in any hospital, and pointed out the restrictions prevented trainee paediatricians from gaining experience in different areas. Some trainee surgeons went through more than 10 separate checks in two years, see the Nursing Times.

It could be pointed out that the risk from a paedophile could override the risks of a delayed operation. However, I doubt it would require a particularly skilled statistician to make an analysis. Has any paediatrician been charged or convicted of a sexual attack on a child between CRB checks? Or ever?

Meanwhile here is a map to show the instances of sexual abuse on children by those who have undergone a CRB check and have been given a clear record, see here. Hat tip - Big Brother Watch.

Personally I'd take the (statistically insignificant) risk and go for the operation.

No comments: