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Are residential and nursing homes adequately screening overseas healthcare workers?

Alner, Joanne M., Hagen, David, Andrews, Sue, Loveday, Rachel and Van Woerden, Hugo C. 2008. Are residential and nursing homes adequately screening overseas healthcare workers? BMC Research Notes 1 (1) , 62. 10.1186/1756-0500-1-62

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Background There has been significant growth in the number of healthcare workers born outside the UK or recruited to the UK from countries with a high prevalence of TB, Hepatitis and other blood borne infections. Government policy recognises the need for occupational health procedures to facilitate treatment for these individuals and to reduce the risk of transmission of disease to patients. The aim of this study was to undertake a survey of nursing and residential homes in South East England, to assess whether homes had occupational health screening policies for healthcare workers who have originated from overseas, and what level of occupational health screening had been undertaken on these employees. Methods An anonymous survey was sent to all 500 homes in West Sussex assessing occupational health practices for "overseas health care workers", defined as health care workers who had been born outside the UK. Results Only one employer (0.8%) reported they had an occupational health screening policy specific for healthcare workers who originate from overseas. Over 80% of homes who had recruited directly had no evidence of screening results for HIV, TB, Hepatitis B and C. The commonest countries of origin for staff were the UK, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and India. Conclusion This study suggests that screening of overseas healthcare workers is not routine practice for residential or nursing care homes and requires further input from Primary Care Trust's, Health Care Commission, Commission for Social Care Inspection, and Professional bodies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1756-0500
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2023 18:42

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