Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing!

A 49 year old nurse who killed two of his patients and poisoned a further 19 has been sentenced to a 35 year custodial sentence. Victorino Chua injected insulin into saline solutions before putting them back into storage. This left his colleagues, who were none the wiser of his deceit, to administer this poison. Chua also meddled with patient charts and increased dosages of their medication.

Two years after Chua started working at Stepping Hill Hospital, patients mysteriously started to suffer from unusual attacks. Two patients died as a result of this cruelty as the insulin overdose deprived their brains of oxygen. Another patient managed to survive however he is likely to suffer from ongoing brain damage.

There are now questions around how qualified Chua actually was before he came over to the UK in 2002. Chua received his training from Galang Medical Centre which was forced to close in 2000 and had been referred to as the worst nursing school in the Philippines.  Galang Medical Centre carried a bad reputation and apparently it was common practice for students who did not complete their training to buy their certificates.

Detectives went out to the Philippines and looked further into Chua’s original certification. This was obtained from Philippines Board of Nursing. On receiving the documents it was identified that the photo attached with them looks as though it is of someone else, implying that Chua may have not been the one to sit that final exam.

Back in 2003, when Chua registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), he was required to provide copies of several documents which included his passport, employment history and proof of his nursing accreditation. At that time he satisfied the vetting process and there was no reason to question the documents provided.

Since then the rules have changed and now foreign nurses must carry out an online test, and only if they are successful in this test are they able to make a visa application to carry out work in the UK. All original documents must be seen and are examined and copies will no longer be considered.

Safe Screening is a leading provider in international checks and is able to screen in 197 countries. We will provide you with the relevant documentation which will be in line with the countries legislative needs. All checks will be date and time stamped and a full audit trail will be available. Having a robust screening process in place will ensure that the likeliness of such atrocious incidents occurring again will be kept to a minimum. We have a specialised team in place that has both the knowledge and training to assist you with such checks e.g. Referencing, GMC, NMC and HCPC plus monthly PIN checks, making sure that all aspects of your vetting propose is carried out to the highest standard.


To find out more, visit www.safescreening.co.uk, email info@safecomputing.co.uk or call 0844 583 2134. 




Who can we really trust?

A 34 year old recruitment consultant has been given a two year sentence, suspended for one year for falsifying eight doctors CV’s in an attempt to secure them jobs. Ross Etherson admitted to 21 counts of fraud and by the end of his swindle had cost the NHS over £37,000. The doctors involved had no idea that their CV’s and references were being altered and were given locum jobs with United Lincolnshire and Western Sussex NHS Trusts. Etherson was fortunate that no incidents of patient harm had been reported as a result of his deceit.

When interviewed, Etherson confirmed this was the very culture from the outset of his employment. His behaviour was seen as normal practice and they would divert problems to a fictitious manager. The doctors’ would send in their true CV’s which would then be embellished so that they appeared more desirable. These doctors were being paid £15 an hour whereas the agency was invoicing the NHS up to £120 per hour. The company is still currently trading but under a different name.

The scam was exposed when a clinical services manager notified the NHS Counter-Fraud Service about his concerns in relation to some of the locum doctors CV’s and references. Some managers carried out the correct checks before appointing the doctors; others employed medics with false documentation.

The fact that these doctors managed to get through the system and work in the hospitals despite lacking the knowledge and experience in itself is a worrying matter. This is why it is crucial that the right background checks are carried out so that such incidents cannot occur. Having a clean systematic approach would mean it leaves minimal opportunity for someone to tamper with documentation and would ensure that the checks are being carried out by official organisations. 

Here at Safe Screening we offer a simple and straightforward method to ensure that the correct background checks are being carried out so you know the person you have employed has the right qualifications. Our system has a full audit trail, date and time stamped, meaning all movements can be traced back to the person who carried them out.

To find out more, visit www.safescreening.co.uk, email info@safecomputing.co.uk or call 0844 583 2134.


Better to be Safe than to be sorry!


Do you know what the fines are for employing someone who does not have the right to work? If you didn’t already know, those previously hefty fines have doubled. You could end up paying up to £20,000 per illegal worker you employ! It gets worse, if it is found that you knowingly employed an illegal worker you could face a prison sentence – anything up to two years.

A total of seven workers were arrested in an immigration raid in Wednesbury. Officers carried out the raid and questioned staff whether or not they had the right to live and work in the UK. Two of the workers were found working in breach of their visa conditions and the other five had overstayed their visas. The company could be liable for a civil penalty of anything upto £20,000 per illegal worker if the correct right to work checks were not carried out. This could mean a potential fine of £140,000.

Home office immigration officers raided a Leicester based factory on Uppingham Road. They found 29 suspected illegal workers. If they are found to have broken the law they can face up to £20,000 for each illegally employed worker which could lead to a total of £580,000. A total of 16 men and 13 women were found, all Indian nationals. Out of which 20 had overstayed their visa, five were working in breach of their visa conditions and two had obtained entry in the UK illegally.

Consequences of illegal employment are not purely financial. UK visas and immigration are policed by the UK boarder agency, who actively publicise the names of the companies who have been fined, damaging their reputation. Since November 2008, the fines issued amount to over £50million and the single largest fine issued to one company has been £300,000. Why take the risk and become a statistic amongst those who have been fined when this can very easily be avoided by using Safe Screening. We will carry out the necessary checks to ensure that those who you are employing have the right to work in the UK.

To find out more, visit www.safescreening.co.uk, email info@safecomputing.co.uk, or call 0844 583 2134.

Know who you are employing!


How often do we hear that someone has been dismissed or has faced fines and potentially a prison sentence due to not being truthful about their background and experience? Existing in the busy surroundings that we do, it is often likely that when screening a candidate aspects will be missed out. If employers are getting smart, then those who manipulate the system are getting smarter! Ensuring that the right checks are carried out is important and should be made mandatory. By not carrying out the relevant checks not only are the wrong people being placed in certain jobs but also the lives of vulnerable individuals are being put at risk. These checks need to be completed to the highest standards and where employers are taking personal responsibility to do this; they need to ensure that no short cuts are being taken.

A care home nurse was sacked after she left an elderly lady with dementia untreated after spilling boiling water on her. The elderly woman had been lying in pain for hours. The scald was a foot wide and the care home nurse failed to call an ambulance depriving the woman of the care she needed.  Ms Hayibor was given a police caution for assault against the vulnerable resident but did not reveal her conviction to the trust she was primarily working for.

A maths teacher has been banned from the classroom for attempting to conceal her criminal past. Samantha Burmis enlisted her daughter to provide fingerprints for her; however this soon came to light as her daughters prints were already on file. Burmis was trying to hide a mortgage fraud which had resulted in a prison sentence back in 1995. Since then Burmis obtained a degree in law and became a qualified teacher. She had several different teaching jobs and in each one she failed to mention her criminal past. Burmis was expecting a pay out of £1.2million for unfair dismissal but was awarded £21,788 due to not declaring previous convictions.

There are several different checks that can be carried out to ensure that we avoid employing the wrong people. These checks go beyond the criminal background checks allowing employers to get an insight on their potential employees.  

Safe Screening is a leading provider in carrying out these checks. Below is a list of the checks we can carry out. Depending on the nature of the role there are variations of checks which can be completed on an individual to ensure that you know who you are employing. By using Safe Screening you can ensure that those who are not suitable, eligible or qualified for the role will not be able to pass the screening process. As an employer not only is this a cost effective facility which can save both time and resources, it also provides you with the peace of mind that those who are working with you are exactly who they claim to be! Safe Screening can provide you with a reliable platform to carry out the necessary checks in a timely and efficient manner.

To find out more, visit www.safescreening.co.uk, email info@safecomputing.co.uk, or call 0844 583 2134. 

How do recruiters find the right provider and the questions to ask?

As with any purchase decision it’s important for the buyer to consider the unique selling points of the supplier and their product. For those looking to invest in cloud based Safe Screening (safescreening.co.uk), there are many. At the forefront of cloud technology, yet backed by over four decades of experience, Safe Screening is born of Safe, founded and providing software solutions since 1975. Hosted on the Amazon platform, Safe Screening offers data backup and security of the highest levels possible. Should any of the clustered servers fail, another will save and replace any missing data, without interruption of service.  With support of the cloud based model, Safe Screening is able to offer load baring regulation, so no peaks or troughs in activity affect SLAs, due to the cloud storage format. Recruiters should consider the supplier, product, and support package to make an informed choice before purchase.

Does cloud computing have the ability to evolve? If so how do you see this happening over the next 2 years?

With all the associated benefits it would seem cloud computing is the better solution, so the evolution would be an increase in utilisation. Traditional methods and practices will eventually thus fall by the way side as this technology replaces them. Fear of use will reduce as securities continue to improve and education and awareness regarding security increases in the market place. Technology providers who were early adopters, such as Safe Screening (safescreening.co.uk), will hold the lion’s share of the market. The course of the next two years could see ‘me too’ providers arrive.  Whilst imitation is the highest form of flattery, those with established relationships and technologies would be expected to provide the best solutions in the long term.

What are recruiters looking for in a cloud computing model?

Recruiters want the benefits of online storage and the flexibility to log in on any device from any location to manage their process without losing control. Utilising secure login web portals for self-management and process automation, cloud based Safe Screening (safescreening.co.uk) can deliver recruiters a pre-employment candidate checking system that embodies all these benefits. Moreover, with contracts and compliance facilities, and secure portals for all in the process, Safe Screening can help both temporary and permanent resources with on boarding and transparency to clients.

The challenges when implementing cloud computing?

The main challenge is fear of security. Various hacking stories in the press cause people to doubt information storage in a digital format within their own domain of devices they control. It’s partly a leap of faith to put pre-employment screening information, which can be highly confidential, in a cloud environment. Safe Screening combats this fear through data access restricted portals, which only allow those at each level of the process to see only what they need to see for their aspect of the process. Safe Screening (safescreening.co.uk) is further supported by the Amazon web platform, securing the data storage to the highest levels possible, as such a large company can dedicate near infinite resources to data security.

How is cloud computing benefitting the recruitment industry?

There are various benefits to true cloud computing in the original sense of the term. By using Amazon servers, Safe Screening is able to offer customers a solution which can manage peaks and troughs in candidate vetting. Clustered servers with the support of Amazon means the Safe Screening (safescreening.co.uk) solution can be powered by as little or as much space as is needed. If just one customer conducts one check a year, or 100 new customers run 1000 checks a day, service levels would be constant. There’s a safety in the support too. As Amazon cluster servers and spread data between with backups, should one fail, the others support, no data is lost service is not reduced. Over traditional manual screening checking services, these benefits are highly beneficial to recruiters and really help make Safe Screening unique in the market place.

Clean slate for ex-offenders causes recruitment concern

Clean slate for ex-offenders causes recruitment concern

As the justice secretary plans to effectively ‘wipe [the] slate clean’ for ex-offenders, employers may start to wonder who exactly they are employing.

The justice secretary’s plans, as reported recently in a leading national newspaper, could have considerable ramifications for employers if they come to fruition. The idea in motion at the moment is to have a time frame for ‘spent convictions’ in a reform to the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. The plans change short convictions, such as less than six months, to a spent conviction status after two years rather than the 1974 act seven years. For employers, this means the prospective employee need not declare said conviction all the quicker.

Concerns in comments raised in response to the news on the tabloid’s website included one visitor making reference to the case of a shoplifter who stole bread. The tale was accompanied by a question of whether a leading UK high street grocery supermarket would subsequently employ that offender. Food for thought perhaps, if you excuse the pun!

A change in legislation of this kind could impact further in the future and causes confusion on where an employer who would require a CRB check would stand. Could serious crimes become ‘spent convictions’ one day? Could therefore a convicted paedophile who has spent said conviction potentially regain the right to work in a nursery? Could someone convicted under terrorism laws potentially regain the right to work at an airport? What could the consequences be if they do eventually then reoffend? The article quotes the justice secretary and offers some protection in saying that ‘serious crimes’ will always need to be disclosed. However if the 1974 act is changing, so potentially are the proverbial ‘goal posts’ which define serious crimes.

That aspect aside, the shoplifting comment one article reader made online is an example of a crime not seen as serious potentially in light of other crimes, but still not ideal for an employer placing said ex-offender in a shop environment. The idea of the act reform is to assist the rehabilitation of ex-offenders into society. However the impact could be that placing, say a shoplifter to work in a shop, would achieve the exact opposite. It could force the ex-offender to see the scene of their crime on a daily basis and surely heighten the temptation to reoffend. Not exactly ideal for the employer or indeed new employee.

One aspect of this debate is agreed by all who comment on the article. Jobs are in short supply, so employers are very picky over who they choose for a role and as such want to be in full possession of the facts. Safe Screening can help your business be in full possession of the facts regarding your job applicants. To find out more, visit www.safescreening.co.uk.


Do you know who is working for you?

Do you know who is working for you?

Recent statistics released by the UK government, show that in 2011 around 200 illegal immigrants were found working in Devon and Cornwall areas of the UK alone. Fines for this area and period exceeded £434k, however some of these fines were collections based on raids the year before.

A civil penalty system has been in place for employers since 2008 by the UK Border Agency. This allowed the agency to place fines, previously capped at £5,000 per instance of employing an illegal worker on the employer. With the cap now raised to £10,000 per worker the amounts that any offending employer could pay could be quite substantial. Once the penalty is in place, employers don’t have long to settle the bill either. They must pay in full within 28 days or ask permission to pay in monthly instalments, permission which may not be granted.

A download from the UK Border Agency website naming and shaming employers in London and surrounding, shows a breakdown of fines by organisation for 2010. Within this can be seen fines as low as £2.5k for one company, rising to £45k for another particular company. Depending on the turnover and profit of an organisation a fine of these sizes in the very worst case scenario, could put a company out of business.  In the best case scenario where the company can afford to carry the fine, it will inhibit reinvestment and growth and significantly affect bottom line and thus profits.

Do you really know who is working for you? If you look out on your business and count heads of those members of staff who have a background you’re unsure of, try taking that figure and times it by £10,000 fine a time. Then look at something like www.safescreening.co.uk for the safety of your business.

Even chief executives need vetting

Even chief executives need vetting

It was recently reported that the CEO of a household name internet search engine may have lied on his CV.

Accused of fabricating a degree by a colleague, the CEO in question stepped down siting ‘personal matters’ rather than acknowledging the scandalous discovery surrounding him at the time in the press. It was later reported he may have health issues. His colleague had originally reportedly discovered that the academic institution quoted on the CEO’s CV as awarding the CEO a degree qualification, only began teaching the subject quoted four years after said CEO supposedly graduated.

Whether he lied or not has yet to be proved and may never be known. However, the scandal itself surrounding the accusation has caused the company to be thrown into making a series of changes right at the top of the organisation. This could only cause confusion to those lower in the organisational tree. The scandal too and associated bad press has no doubt impacted upon the brand value of this household name.

It shows no matter what the position you’re recruiting for, pre-employment background checks are the key to avoiding any nasty surprises later in employment, or any associated internal confusion and external bad press. Luckily, cloud software can help quickly and easily conduct background checks on candidates. To find out more, visit www.safescreening.co.uk.

Does more temporary staff mean less pre-employment checks?

Does more temporary staff mean less pre-employment checks?

An American Bureau of Labour and Statistics has reported a rise in contingent labour comparing 2011 with 2010 statistics. Perhaps more worryingly, their report also observes that checks on contingent workers are generally not as thorough as those on permanent members of the team.

Perhaps this could be explained by the frequency in which temporary workers come and go from an organisation. That perhaps their temporary nature seems to indicate to those who employ them, that they don’t need to know as much about them. However that said, if the temporary worker is filling a role that allows them to handle personal information, the damage they could do in that role if not properly checked to the organisation could have large impact repercussions.

In addition to these American based findings, rules surrounding AWR for recruiters operating in the UK now need to be adhered to. Those agencies who do not comply can face heavy fines from the UK government.

As well as falling foul of these laws, any who hire in the UK, via an agency or directly, temporary or permanent, need to prove they’ve checked the right of the individual to work within the UK by law. Failing to do so can mean £10,000 fine per bad hire to any organisation.

So whilst not conducting as many pre-employment background checks on temporary workers as you might on permanent may seem on trend, the smart thing to do is to check all who are employed and fully. To find an easy way to do so, visit www.safescreening.co.uk.

'Can't I just fill out a standard form from the HMRC website?'

'Can't I just fill out a standard form from the HMRC website?'



Taken from the Safe Computing travel subsistence (TS) and agency workers regulations (AWR) seminars.

'Will I need to change my front and back office systems, or invest in additional software?'

'Will I need to change my front and back office systems, or invest in additional software?'



Taken from the Safe Computing travel subsistence (TS) and agency workers regulations (AWR) seminars.

2011 is a tough legislative year for recruiters

2011 is a tough legislative year for recruiters

Hello bloggers, Renata Jones here, lead generation manager for Safe Computing.  I hope you enjoy reading my blogs, and in this most recent instalment I explore why I believe this year seems to be a tough one for recruitment agencies. It is only February and 2011 is shaping up to be a year of moderate discontent, especially for recruitment companies, perhaps their toughest yet.

Well publicised in the world media is the period of austerity we are all experiencing to some degree following the impact of a global recession. Essentially a fancy way of saying we are all watching the pennies and tightening our proverbial belts. The recruitment industry has long experienced increasing regulation as a minority of less ethical companies gave the industry as a whole a bad name. Increases in regulations to travel and subsistence schemes and from the new agency workers regulation that come into effect from October, make 2011 no exception to this rule.

Navigating these macro economic factors and remaining a profitable recruitment business can be an arduous task with limited in-house experience, so why not let some recruitment agency specific software take some of the pressure off your organisation? Recruiting software can for instance manage applications, parsing CV information received automatically from web based portals, also known as cloud computing, for candidates to basically do information inputting for you, without a tedious form for them. Recruitment management software can help your business manage multiple employments of your employees within the same timeframe. Pay and bill software can help you process timesheets, pay accordingly, and manage correctly your national insurance (NI) payments. So what are all these miraculous software tools called? Well actually they all have one name, Safe Tempest. From one basic system specifically engineered for the recruitment agency market, Safe Tempest can be customised with modular optional extras to archive all of the above recruitment management functions of your business, letting you do what you do best, focus on the people. Cut down your administration and interview more candidates, and meet with your customers more, building your relationships and your business. Safe Tempest recruitment software is used by most of the top 50 recruiters in the UK and Ireland, and will scale to the size of your business as it grows. There is even a range of optional extras which can enhance this software, and Safe can create custom built bespoke additional modules on request. Safe also offer software for smaller users numbers and businesses.

To find out more speak to your account manager, or visit www.safe-tempestsuite,co.uk and click on the ‘enquire online’ link. If there is a topic you’d like me to explore in a future blog post, please contact me using info@safecomputing.co.uk.

Safe Computing on Twitter
Monthly Archives