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New employee checklist for GP practices

What documentation do practices need when new members of staff, including GPs, join? Includes a downloadable checklist to include with your records and links to key guidance.

Pre-employment checks are a really important part of the recruitment process.

All employers must legally check that new employees have the right to work in the UK and it is best practice to ensure that you check qualifications and references. Under Regulation 19 of the Health and Social Care Act healthcare providers should only employ 'fit and proper' staff who are able to provide care and treatment appropriate to their role. The CQC says that to meet this requirement 'providers must operate robust recruitment procedures, including undertaking any relevant checks'.

There are also things that you as an employer should do for new members of staff, including providing them with a job description, contract and staff handbook or details of the practice's policies and procedures

Below is a link to a checklist which can be printed for each new employee and kept in their HR folder to make sure you have everything covered.

There is a lot of guidance which explains the background and requirements of these checks so below is a list of what you need to check and where you can find out more information about each issue if you need to.

All staff need the following checks

  • Check for any gaps in CV. The applicant’s application form or CV should be checked to see if there are any gaps and any unexplained gaps or discrepancies should be explored during the interview process.
  • Two references. For new appointments from outside of the NHS, employers should seek the necessary references to validate a period of three consecutive years of continuous employment or training immediately prior to the application being made. The number and type of references obtained for each applicant may vary, depending on whether the individual has held employment or has studied for a consecutive period of three years and/or how many episodes of employment or training they may have had during this time. Download NHS Employers guidance on employment history and reference checks.
  • Identity checks - this is essential as it forms the basis of other checks. Download NHS Employers guidance on this.
  • Right to work in UK - All employees need to demonstrate their right to work in UK. Employers must see the worker's original documents, check the documents are valid with the employee present and make and keep copies of the documents with a record of the date they were checked.
  • DBS check. Not all new staff need a DBS check, it depends on the activities that person will be undertaking and their level of patient access. NHS Employers has a DBS eligibility tool on its website to assess whether a person needs a DBS check. It also has advice on role eligibility for DBS checks here.
  • Work health assessement. These are essential to protect staff and ensure that they have up to date vaccinations, particularly if patient facing. NHS Employers advice on this is here.

During the pandemic

It is recognised that during the pandemic, practices may need to employ staff quickly and so there is amended guidance for during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What practices should provide staff

The practice should provide all staff with the following:

  • Contract.
  • Job description.
  • Staff handbook or practice policies and procedures.
  • Windows login and set the person up on all the different software they will need. If the new staff member needs to work remotely ensure they know how to login and use all relevant software and let them know what to do if they get stuck.
  • Smartcard.

Also make sure you have the new employee's P45/P46 information for payroll and have correct details of the employee's NHS pension, if they have one, or have provided details of this to new NHS employees.

Useful resources

Additional checks for GPs

Additional checks for nurses

Additional checks for pharmacists

  • Check that they are registered with the GPhC with no restrictions.
  • Check their qualifications - NHS Employers information on professional registration and qualifications checks
  • You should inform your indemnity provider that the pharmacist has joined the team and explain their indemnity arrangements. Some providers may cover pharmacists under your group scheme.
  • Send the pharmacist to occupational health check if this is available in your area. If not and the pharamcist will be patient facing, ask for a copy of their blood test results showing immunity to Hepatitis B and measles. This should form part of the work health assessment mentioned above.

    Fionnuala O'Donnell is a practice manager in Ealing, West London, and a CCG board member.

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