Sex offender at Southend Hospital was CRB checked

Exterior view Southend University Hospital
Image caption The Local Safeguarding Children Board has sought assurances from Southend Hospital about the case

A known sex offender got work at a hospital despite being criminal record bureau (CRB) checked, it has emerged.

BBC News previously reported how the person was employed by Southend Hospital via an agency before they were dismissed in June.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the hospital has now revealed further details about the case.

The hospital said the agency had carried out a CRB check but the results were not passed on.

The identity and exact role of the worker employed have not been disclosed.

Responding to the BBC's FOI request, the hospital said the agency worker was hired to provide optician services and saw eight children between April and June.

Position of trust

Sue Hardy, director of nursing, said in a statement: "It was when the trust queried the individual's qualifications we were informed that he was on the sex offenders' register having been convicted of a crime of a sexual nature involving another adult.

"We were confident that there was no risk to our patients and the individual concerned was capable of performing his job.

"However, we informed the independent contractor that, given this individual was employed in a position of trust and was providing direct health services to potential vulnerable groups, we could not allow him to work for us in this capacity."

The hospital has not ruled out further investigations into the case or possible legal action.

It said it was now trying to establish "whether a person (or persons) failed to comply with the law and/or with trust policy in relation to the contractor's recruitment of the (Sex Offender's Register) registered person."

"The trust is not aware of any recent offence having been committed or of any offence having been committed whilst on trust premises by the registered person," a spokeswoman said.

Responsible adult

"In this case, the contractor did undertake the CRB check but did not inform the trust of its outcome or hiring decision. For this reason, the trust has stopped the company trading on the hospital's site.

"We are satisfied that all the children seen were accompanied by a responsible adult."

The hospital has not named the agency involved, citing the Data Protection Act.

A spokesman for patient support group Essex and Southend LINk said it was vital agencies made the results of CRB checks known to hospitals.

Peter Blackman said: "It's absolutely imperative that agencies have up-to-date, enhanced CRB checks in place and if they are not clear, the information about the individual is brought to the attention of the organisation wanting to hire them."

Southend's Local Safeguarding Children Board has previously stated it was aware of the case.

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