A new centralised system to check on those wishing to work with children, recommended by the Bichard Report, has been welcomed by the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA).
The CPHVA, which represents the majority of the UK’s health visitors, hopes that the new system will speed up the checking process, as some of its members have been prevented in the past from taking up jobs because of the slowness of the current vetting procedures.
The CPHVA was commenting in the wake of the 200-page report by Sir Michael Bichard, which was scathing in the way that Ian Huntley was able to obtain the job as Soham school caretaker and then murder Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.
The CPHVA’s director, Mark Jones said: ‘We would like to reiterate the concern over how Huntley could get the Soham job in the first place, given his history, and express our deep sadness at the deaths of Holly and Jesscia.’
‘We welcome the proposal for a centralised system under the umbrella of the Department for Education and Skills for registration prior to employment with young children.’
‘The screening system has been a particular concern for some of our members who have been prevented from taking up posts on time due to the slowness of current system.’
‘A streamlined system is in the interests of both children, who need to be protected from those who could do them harm. And employers who want to ensure that a high quality health care provision is in place and need to recruit and deploy professionals as quickly as possible.’