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Guest blog revealing mental health discrimination in CRB checks

Posted on 30 June 2011 | 7:06am

As someone who campaigns against stigma and discrimination regarding mental illness, I would like to share with you a letter I received recently from Eileen O’Hara in Manchester. It is self-explanatory. Like many people, Eileen has been reluctant to talk about her own experience of mental illness, but feels she has to speak out against the discrimination she feels has been shown in the following story. I’d be interested to hear from others if you have had similar experience, so that the mental health charities can perhaps take this up as an issue which needs re-examining. And many thanks to Eileen for getting involved in the Time to Change campaign.

‘I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder in April 2009. I am writing to you because you have pledged your support for the Time to Change campaign and something that I really feel needs to change is the police attitude to mental health issues. Let me explain.

The treatment I received for this condition included a month spent in the Glenbourne Mental Health Unit in Plymouth. In November 2010 I was discharged back to the care of my GP, as my psychiatrist and the local community mental health team judged my mental health to be stable.

At no point during this period was I violent to myself or others – in fact, I have never been –. I do not have a criminal record as far as I am aware.

In June 2010 I applied to be a Befriender with the mental health charity Making Space, which is based in Warrington, Cheshire. I wanted to put my experience to good use in supporting others with mental health problems.  Making Space asked me for a Criminal Records Bureau check, and so I made an application. When I received my CRB in August 2010 I was shocked by what Devon & Cornwall Police had stated in the ‘Any other relevant information’ section:

Devon & Cornwall Constabulary holds information concerning Eileen Mary O’Hara, born 17 January 1959, that may be relevant to this application:

DEVON & CORNWALL CONSTABULARY ARE AWARE THAT IN 2009 EILEEN MARY O’HARA WAS A PATIENT OF THE GLENBOURNE MENTAL HEALTH UNIT IN PLYMOUTH; WE ARE NOT AWARE WHETHER SHE HAS ANY CURRENT MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, OR WHETHER SHE PRESENTS A RISK TO VULNERABLE CHILDREN OR ADULTS.

Since when did having a period of mental illness qualify as a crime or even ‘relevant information’ for a potential employer? Do any other medical conditions warrant inclusion in a CRB?

Fortunately, this CRB did not affect the decision of Making Space about whether to use me as a Befriender. Nor did it hinder my employment in November 2010 under the Future Jobs Work scheme with a youth music project in Manchester. But as I was asked again about my CRB and again had to reveal my medical history, I decided to challenge what the Devon & Cornwall police had written.  As a result, and after checking the facts, they amended my CRB by adding:

IN NOVEMBER 2010 IN DIRECT RESPONSE TO A POLICE ENQUIRY, EILEEN O’HARA’S COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH TEAM DETAILED THAT MS O’HARA’S MENTAL HEALTH WAS STABLE AND THAT SHE HAS BEEN DISCHARGED FROM SECONDARY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES BACK TO THE CARE OF HER GP.

Despite this, on 9 May 2011 I was turned down for a new job on the basis of what Devon & Cornwall police had decided was ‘relevant’ to my CRB.

I am appalled and distressed that despite having no criminal record and no history of violence, an episode of mental illness is now officially recorded by the police and will follow me around forever, potentially blighting my employment prospects and otherwise restricting my freedom.  It is clearly discriminatory and reflects the police’s prejudice and lack of understanding, not any ‘risk’ that I might pose.

I have since learnt that there is no way of erasing this record.  The Information Commissioner not only has no power over what the police deem relevant to include in a CRB but, in a test case, actually overruled the complainant in the police’s favour. Quite simply, if the police deem the information to be relevant then it is. To be officially labeled in this way without a right of appeal seems to me to be a clear breach of both the Equality Act (2010) and my human rights.

I have also learnt that I am not alone in suffering this discrimination – many people who have experienced episodes of mental ill-health have it recorded on their CRBs.  But a legal challenge would be long and costly and no one, not even MIND, has summoned up the will to take it on. Needless to say, my own struggle to get this reference to my medical history taken off my CRB has had a bad effect on my health.  I feel an unanswerable government agency simply has unwarranted control over a vital area of my life.

I really feel this whole issue of CRBs needs a complete rethink. To allow the current situation to continue, where mental illness is seen on a par with criminal acts, makes a mockery of recovery and rehabilitation.  All the work that MIND, Time to Change and you are doing will be wasted if, when it comes to moving on, we service users are stopped in our tracks by arbitrary statements by officials that cannot be challenged and that wreak havoc in our lives – lives we have struggled to re-build, only to be knocked down again.

I am now unemployed and have been referred back to mental health services because of the effect of this battle. I almost feel that I might as well have not bothered trying to get better. So, as a Time to Change ambassador and a former Mind Champion of the Year, I really hope you will give your voice to this issue.

Yours sincerely,

Eileen O’Hara

  • Tuppence0

    Horrified by this. I knew that CRB checks were draconian (e.g. someone with a £25 fine for example is precluded from getting a job - despite what employers might say about being non-discriminatory - people are getting punished twice for crimes and are unable to move on with life) but I’d no idea the police could access medical records. Appalled.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Duncan-Phipp-macintyre/525048347 Duncan Phipp-macintyre

    That really is crushing, awful. Very worryingly, many people are reluctant to disclose illness to psychiatric nurses or G.P.s for fear of who else may access this information. Many worry greatly that an interrmittent illness just does not fit with the tick box categories of assessment by the D.W.P for Incapacity Benefit or Disability Living Allowance, appeals and rebranding to slash costs that the government is transfixed with.
    The police through unaccountable stop and account have carte blanche to collar whomsoever they wish. Unfortunately, I was stopped by them a few weeks ago. I am socio-phobic and terrified about going out. Psychotherapist has been working with me for ages on this so increasingly frequent ghastly walks to anonymous supermarket are on the menu. Police stopped me and grilled me for looking nervous and suspicious. Paranoia makes me feel suspicious and I was nervous. They said they did not like my mannerisms, maybe I was hiding my face under my hat and asked a mass of personal questions including why I was perspiring.Their questions probed my health, intruded on my privacy and exposed my inadequacies of mind and mood.  Apparently, this is within their remit. So now I spend even longer in my garden and feel that I will indeed be watched, marked and noted even if I just attempt to undertake a pathetic 3 minute walk to a supermarket to overcome what for nobody else would be a barrier to normal life.
    So there you have  it. Trivial in the larger scheme of things but another step backwards on a long road.

  • Paul M

    I must admit that it’s news to me that treatment in a mental health unit is notified to the police and recorded by them and consequently can appear in a CRB check. It seems to me voluntary medical treatment is no business of any government agency and extremely sinister. This is quite unacceptable. The police might just as easily include involvement in a traffic accident on the grounds that the driver might carry children as passengers.l

  • David

    If what is written contains all the facts then that is quite appaling.  How would the police be aware of that information?  Most people think twice about admitting to any kind of mental health problems because they fear they will be stigmitised.  Clearly, if this case is typical, then they have every right to worry!  I am surprised that organisations in the mental health sector and not joining together to seek the necessary changes to the legislation.

  • Yossi

    As a
    lawyer, who once represented a mentally
    ilI client in my country (Israel), I am
    shocked.

     In Israel, this
    wouldn’t  have happened (and if, by
    mistake, it would
    have happened - you
    could file a suit
    for damages against the
    police)

  • Linda

    These people who are making judgements need educating a bit more.  Keeping things simple, like is it right or wrong, and common sense have all gone out of the window.  

    I was on the bus once, and in front of me was some legal chap, wearing all his get up, and he was stone drunk.  I sat there thinking, well I’m not allowed to sit on a jury, and he is allowed to  travel on a public bus, dressed in his work gear, drunk.   I think the system could be round the wrong way sometimes?!! 

    It’s up to people to speak up, and then maybe things will change, so I am sure Time to Change etc, will have an impact, although sometimes such a large campaign the little fish can feel lost.

  • Lorraine

    This is terrible and very upseting it’s time an end was put to it. People with past or present mental illness should not be treat like a criminal.  I suffer from my bipolar and this news is very worrying to me. 

  • http://twitter.com/ian_williams Ian Williams

    Absolutely shocking. By adding mental health history into CRB data the police are essentially endorsing the view that those with mental health issues gravitate towards crime.

  • http://twitter.com/ian_williams Ian Williams

    I agree in principle but unfortunately I think most of us like to determine ourselves as much by what we *aren’t* as what we are. For that society craves fall guys and golems, irrespective of the fairness of it all, just so we can say, “Hey, I’m not like those people.”

  • Viviane

    In Sydney we’ve had the situation recently where 2 magistrates have had to go before the NSW State Parliament Upper House to state their case for why they should retain their positions.  Both suffer from mental illness and did some “inappropriate” things.  One has kept her job and the other decision has been delayed due to more info to be taken into account.  The result will be that mental illness in the legal system will be swept under the carpet, people will be too concerned to say anything or too frightened to get the treatment and/or medication they need.  Very worrying for us all as a community.

  • Ruth

    I am so pleased Eileen has used her more than adequate personal resources to fight on, she is one of the
    most amazing women I know, who adds so much value to the world she is in, I feel
    privileged to call her my friend. I happen to also be a general nurse and mental health nurse and I strongly feel it is everyone’s responsibility in a caring society to accept and support each other, however hard that may be at times, as we all have strengths and areas that personally challenge us. I hope that common sense prevails for Eileen and that unreasonable barriers are not put in the way of her and others in similar situations who are building the life they aspire to. 

  • Eileen

    Hi, I am Eileen O’Hara, the person at the centre of this piece. I sympathise with you enormously, having had severe episodes of anxiety etc about going out, I completely get where you’re at. The fact that the police can stop you when you are trying to muster all your power just to get to the shop, only to be stopped by the police, is, I believe, yet another breach of our civil liberties. Thank you for your response to my blog

  • Eileen

    Hi Yossi, I am the person at the centre of this piece and the basic problem in fighting this ( as I have been told by the legal profession) is that because it is a civil case< I would not be entitled to legal aid. Obviously I am unemployed and therefore unable to fund this. This why I have had to resort to going public . It’s scary taking on the police but I am willing to do this if necessary, having the support of Alistair Campbell in highlighting this issue gives me hope.

  • MicheleB

    …………………”It’s scary taking on the police but I am willing to do this”…………

    You shouldn’t be using terms like ‘taking on the police’, why blame them for following their orders?

    We live nowadays in a ‘cannot be too careful’ situation where children are concerned.

    The fact that you haven’t ever been violent isn’t the point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Duncan-Phipp-macintyre/525048347 Duncan Phipp-macintyre

    You are so kind – I wish you every kind thought. Thank you for your insight. For you to invite people to understand your experience through your blog is very special. All the best to you.

  • Gilliebc

    This is very shocking news.  But the Police as agents of the Government, have obviously been ordered to keep these files by the Government.
    Therefore, as I see it, the problem needs to be taken-up with the Government.

    It would be interesting to find out exactly how long this has been going on for and which Home Secretary in which Government started this information being kept on record by the Police in the first place.

  • Gilliebc

    Hi Eileen,  I appauld your courage in going public on this issue and full marks too to AC for printing your letter.  I think it’s fair to say that this was indeed news to most of us that this sort of information is kept on record by the Police! 
    How about contacting that Civil Liberties person Shami Chakrabarti?  Maybe they, Civil Liberties, could be of some assistance?

  • MicheleB

    It would probably make more sense Eileen if the Enhanced CRB was re-named to remove the stigma of its C word.

    https://www.criminalrecordschecked.co.uk/crc/WebPages/TypesofDisclosure.asp?intAffiliateID=

    We’re in the era of ‘Children 1st’ legislation and some of it makes little sense.

  • MicheleB

    I doubt it’s kept on record or even notified to the Police for a standard CRB Gillie.

    It’s probably something that needs them to make other enquiries in the case of an Enhanced CRB …. something that should maybe be re-named.

    ‘Children 1st’ overrides everything.

  • Gilliebc

    I find myself sort of in agreement with you on this one MicheleB.

    But the problem is that these records seem to be so indiscriminate. i.e. people with mental health problems being placed in the same category as potential child abductors and the like, is simply wrong.

  • MicheleB

    Sorry Eileen I’ve just re-read your opening post and realise you haven’t mentioned children whereas I’ve dribbled on about ‘Children 1st’.

    However, the Enhanced CRB is about vulnerable adults as well as kids.

    Sorry for any confusion re the juggernaut that is Children 1st (something Gove doesn’t seem to know about with his invitation to volunteers this week to enable schools to be open today).

  • Sinéad Keane

    Eileen, I really relate with what you’re battle.I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder a little over three years ago after being treated for severe depression and anxiety since my early teens.I feel like I am leading a double life,not wanting people to know another part of me.I do not tell others of my condition as I am afraid that they will both view and treat me in a different manner.When I am an in hospital I make up excuses as to my absences,the same with appointments with my doctor.I really wish the general public viewed mental illness like any other illness, but general society seems unable to view mental illness like any other illness.Eileen,I really hope that thing for you improve and most important that you keep well.

  • Stuart

    The police are not super-skilled in dealing with people with mental health problems at the best of times in situations ~ both in cases like Eileen’s, and in the person-to-person/face-to-face interactive sense. They need to be trained better in dealing with and relating to people who have experience of mental health issues, and in understanding the diversity of mental health issues – also recognising the fact that just because someone has a mental health issue, doesn’t make them any more violent/a risk/a threat than someone who does not have a record of mental health issues. Quite often it’s the other way around – in which the person with mental health issues has been the vulnerable party and negatively affected by experiences from external sources: not being the perpetrators or potentially being at risk of being a danger to others.   And *when* did having a mental health issue become a crime?  I fail even to see why this would be an issue for CRB, unless the person being CRB’d  has been charged with violent,  criminal or endangering acts – in which case it’s about treating the person as anyone else who has committed a crime or been a threat, not whether they have experienced periods of mental unwellness incurring hospitalisation or not.  

    So much for the government’s claims of disability shirkers and getting disabled people into work, when this kind of situation is arising and preventing them passing oft-essential CRB and background checks and getting work (voluntary – let alone paid employment)!!! Another dubious flaw of the Big Con. Sorry … Big Society! It is just a con to shove people en-masse onto a reduced benefits package, while averting public outrage over the issue of cutting the money of some of the most vulnerable in society by stirring up propaganda about a supposed ton of benefit scroungers getting benefits like DLA and Incapacity. 

    Having known Eileen personally as a friend for several years I am qualified to say she is a decent, empathic person, and has a lot to offer any workplace.

    People need to be aware of cases like hers, and the difficulties faced in the struggles to gain or even seek employment, which many disabled and mental-health experiencers are forced to endure. THAT is the real scandal – NOT (as the govt would have us believe)  that a mass of people are cheating the system claiming sickness benefits.

    Equality and fairness for people with disabilities and mental health issues is still yet to be won in our wonderful society … and with services like legal aid and citizens’ advice being reduced (if not lost altogether) following  govt cuts, it seems fairness, equality and justice are going to be harder to attain than ever for some people in society. Unless you can pay for it of course. 

  • Stuart

    Michele, there have always been 1001 dangers to children, throughout time, our nowadays is no different to our yesterdays: only things like paedophilia for instance, and other child-dangers, were not given as much priority, publicised or dealt with so openly or proactively years ago, compared to the present time in which people are better able to spot signs of abuse/risk, are more aware of the dangers, and less inclined to tolerate things happening to children. For instance, in the old days, a lot of it was hushed up.  But we are reaching the point today whereby children are being so protected, some are barely being allowed to have a childhood and go out to play with their own age groups, or connect with other adults, without a heap of paranoia and suspicion. It’s no wonder a lot of young people are growing up finding social integration difficult. Though that’s not to say people shouldn’t be vigilant. But the hysteria surrounding dangers to children these days is limiting the childhood experience of many. Not to mention skills and experiences they might’ve gained in their maturation years, if it weren’t for being wrapped up in common wool by over anxious parents who have been led to believe there’s a threat on every street corner, in every park, in every minute of their kids’ lives. If anything it should be *safer* these days, because there’s so much more vigilance and public awareness about such threats.

    Mental health experiencers are most often people who have had stressful lives, experienced hardships and sufferings, negative treatment from other people such as abuse, and broken under the weight of it all. They’re not all psychopaths running amok with knives or on the verge of battering or abusing someone else. People thought at risk to themselves but no risk to others can be put into psychiatric care and have this same CRB situation happen to them – a jilted housewife or (ex)husband … a lonely suicidal person, to give two examples. Why should they be treated little different to a delusional psychotic with the potential to threaten all and sundry around them at any given moment, or who has done so?  

    Plenty of people – if you know and talk to any – who have mental health issues, have negative experiences with the police, who often lack empathy and awareness of the mental health spectrum, and show it in their dealings with the mental health sufferers in meeting with them – whether the person has reported a crime and not been taken seriously, or committed or being under suspicion of potential to cause a crime. 

    There are plenty of decent, caring people with “mental health issues” who are parents themselves, or support other people, who are capable of work but denied it, who can work well with children and all other human beings, but often get denied the chance in cases as demonstrated here. *Just as* there are plenty of paedophiles and threats to children out there in society, wearing the mask of being “normal”, mentally “well” and “upstanding” citizens.  

  • Bob

    Does this only refer to people who were sectioned oranyone who has been under primary care? I was led to believe being sectioned was something that can be brought up during disclosure checks.

  • http://skippy.org.uk Skippy

    I have been treated for mental health problems, also not something I wish to be made public by this unaccountable organisation. Does this mean that if I require a CRB check to work for a charity; or other group, I may have to decline due to non-disclosure of facts?

  • Concerned

    Hi Eileen

    I am so sorry and saddened to hear of your experiences. I am a mental health nurse; someone I know has recently applied for a CRB check and we are awaiting a response. This is so that this person can become a volunteer to co-facilitate a group. It is both part of the process of recovery and also to re-build skills and confidence for future work applications.

    As a person who has myself experienced a period of mental ill health (psychotic depression) and yet has been able to carry on with my work, my competency and any risks never  questioned, I find it appalling that others are being treated in this way.

    As a mental health worker, I am grateful for you to bring this to public attention and I will be sure that colleagues are aware, so that we can actively fight this discrimination. 

  • MicheleB

    Please don’t take issue with me Stuart when I am merely stating facts that are not of my design.

    Children and vulnerable adults need to be in positive environments; we have seen what happens in cases where the needs of carers were prioritised over those of vulnerable people of any age.

    Someone has to take the decisions, lay down the rules.  I’m not sure ‘discrimination’ is the right word to be being used about these matters.

    .

  • MicheleB

    Like I’ve said in a couple of places Gillie it’s a shame that this enhanced check for people wanting to work (paid or unpaid) with children or vulnerable adults is linked with the CRB and its association with crime.

    It needs that stigma to be removed.

    Children and vulnerable adults in the care of others need only positivity, it might indeed seem cruel to some.

  • MicheleB

    Oh for heaven’s sake, do you think the police decide the rules they follow?

  • MicheleB

    https://www.criminalrecordschecked.co.uk/crc/WebPages/TypesofDisclosure.asp?intAffiliateID=

    Standard CRB Disclosure

    Standard CRB Disclosures
    contain details of all criminal convictions, including current and
    ‘spent’ convictions, held on the Police National Computer (PNC), as well
    as details of any cautions, reprimands or final warnings. If you intend
    to work with vulnerable adults or children, a Standard Disclosure is
    not a suitable level of Disclosure; you must have an Enhanced CRB
    Disclosure. If you are required professionally to have a CRB, for
    example in financial services, then a Standard Disclosure is the level
    you need.

    Enhanced CRB Disclosure

    Enhanced CRB Disclosures are
    required for job applications which involve a much greater degree of
    contact with children or vulnerable adults. The type of work which
    requires an enhanced CRB disclosure will involve regularly caring for,
    supervising, training or being in sole charge of such people. Enhanced
    CRB disclosures are also required for certain statutory purposes such as
    gaming and lottery licences.

    The main difference between a
    Standard and an Enhanced CRB disclosure is that the latter involves a
    check on local police records as well as the Police National Computer.
    Where those records contain information that may be relevant to the job
    which the applicant is being considered for, the Chief Officer of the
    relevant police force may release additional information for inclusion
    in the Enhanced CRB Disclosure. In some circumstances (usually to
    protect an ongoing police investigation), the additional information may
    be sent to the umbrella body which countersigns the CRB application but
    not revealed in the enhanced CRB disclosure to the applicant. Enhanced
    Disclosures’ are also checked against the barred lists, which replaced
    the old POCA and POVA lists, List 99 and the Disqualification
    Regulations.

    Changes to the Disclosure Process

    You can get much more information by opting for our FREE report at the bottom of this page.

    Please note that much of the
    current process is being reviewed at present, for example one of the
    proposals under review is that there will no longer be ‘additional
    information’ sent to umbrella bodies that the applicant does not see.
    Another proposal under review is that the applicant will receive the CRB
    Disclosure and have time to dispute it before the employer receives
    their copy; at present, both copies are sent out at the same time and
    there is an equal chance of the employer receiving their copy first.

    The changes currently being
    proposed will be announced later in the year once the Freedom Bill has
    been through Parliament. You can get information on these developments
    from Criminal Records Checked as and when they are announced, by filling
    in the form below. You will receive a FREE 10 page report on all recent
    developments in the sector plus updates on all developments as they
    occur. Accepting this report places you under no obligation to useCriminal Records Checked.

  • Eileen

    Yes, I get that about a double life, but from now, I am going to come clean about my condition, fortunately, I work closely with MIND who see ‘lived experience’ as they call it as a plus, the more we open up about this, the better it will be for others to follow, it takes courage and I am heartened by yours and other’s response. The other thing I suppose is:
    TO NOT LET THEM B*******S GRIND YOU DOWN

  • Eileen

    Good point, it does pose the question and maybe this blog will come up with some answers?????

  • Eileen

    thanks Ruth for your kind words of support & praise. Let’s hope that by putting this out there, we can start the debate and get some real changes in place so that people in a similar position do not have to go through the same thing.Eileen O’Hara

  • Eileen

    Thank you very much for your words of concern, yes, I agree it is a key to recovery that our ‘lived experience’ skills are seen as an asset and not a disability. But the sad fact is that in my case and am sure many others, our past medical/mental history is being used against and makes a mockery of recovery.Eileen O’Hara

  • Robert

    Thank you for posting the facts, Michele.

    They really do help to inform the debate.

  • tess

    In response to Eileen;
    Eileen, I think you are a very brave lady and wish there were more people like you. Until two weeks ago, like many members of the public, I had some basic knowledge about some mental health issues but overall, was not very well informed. However, a trip to A and E with my partner who was suffering pains in his left arm, jaw and shoulders has changed that completely. He was told his heart was fine (which was great news) but docs suspected he was clinically depressed and on the verge of a breakdown and told him to see his GP as soon as possible – which he did. The GP carried out further tests and told my partner he suspected he was suffering Bi-polar type two and has referred him to a specialist (we are currently awaiting apt). We both both come from loving families and passionately believe that everyone is equal, no matter their colour, size, political leanings, disabilities or indeed mental health issues but the stigma attached to mental health issues does indeed remain strong. In the week since the visit to the GP, I have been really shocked at peoples’ reaction to this news, friends we have known for years feel its OK to mock, (would they be doing this if he had, for example, had a heart attack – very unlikely,), well meaning relatives have told us that it’s not a real issue (we all have our ups and downs is the most common way it has been put) and to be honest, the condition has not been confirmed by the specialist but already, my partner feels it is not something he can talk about openly. I really feel for you Eileen and think it is unfair and unjust that your treatment has been flagged up on a CRB check – after all, what better person to help those with mental health issues than someone who has first hand experience? Knowledge is power and I believe, the more information people have about mental health issues, the better informed people are, then the sooner this unfair prejudice and discrimination will disappear.
    With very best wishes for your health and the future,
    Tessx

  • Gillybob

    I’m a little confused about how the police got this information. “In direct response to a police enquiry” they were given the information by the mental health team. Maybe I am wrong in assuming that the police cannot just ring up health services and enquire about our health? If I received such an enquiry from the police I would want to know that the information they requested was directly related to a criminal investigation. In this case, it obviously was not. Should the mental health team have ever given this information to the police? 

  • ANON

    We are all human beings who work within the social care spectrum and it is the very experiences of our lives that make us the people we are. I find it appalling that any CRB Check should reveal/question our competency based on any period of mental/emotional ill health. 
    Working as a Social Worker for 15 years, in virtually every discipline, but particularily mental health and child protection by it’s own virtue can make us vulnerable to our own issues. We attempt to balance the immense stress/pressure of an increasing and complex caseload along with striving for a quality family life and inevitably ‘something’ has to give and usually it is our own mental health which becomes that ‘something’. Instead of being judged, branded and stigmatised for recognising we also require help and support we should be applauded for our insight and acknowledgement at these very times.

  • Don

    Is this happening just in this country (England)?

    They have to keep a record on everyone regarding (health, employing, what you say, not say, etc etc).
    What about privacy laws? or data protection act…is everything about your life shared with the whole world.??

  • Fkenward

    Eileen [a lovely name!], 
    Don’t give up hope!  The law of the land has often beeb described as an ass.
    Similarly, the police are often seen to be the enforcers of law [and order].
    However, they have little understanding of the intracasies associated with it.
    You think one way, the police, the other.  Often, the employer sits on the side-lines, being uncertain of what to do [unless of course there is ‘money’ in it for
    them! 

    From my understanding of the facts, the initial comment made by the police was to the fact you CRB was clear, without having to go into detail.  The management on the other hand failed to note this – typical of management!!!
    I believe you have a case which is important for yourself and for others in the
    same position.  I do feel you have a right to persue this through the European
    Court of Human Rights.  Go for it Eileen, I’m sure there is a solicitor out there waiting to make a name for himself!!

    Best of Luck!
     

  • Anonymous

    I can relate to the posting, as someone who is BiPolar and has myself come across discrimination. Well done for standing up and saying it, and well done to Mr Campbell for backing it

    Anonymous

  • MicheleB

    It’s occurred to me that there might be two sides to the supposedly-protective  concerns about people’s medical records.

    I think we all saw during ‘Dream School’ that some young people can be quite damaging themselves, spot a vulnerability.  It’s not one-way traffic.

  • Gilliebc

    MicheleB, it seems to me (rightly or wrongly) that you just don’t “get” what it is that the majority of people on this page are justifiably complaining about.
    For example if someone had a brain tumour, would they have that fact added to their CRB?  I don’t think so!  Even though brain tumours are known to cause personality changes and disorders.
    Therefore, it is grossly unfair and unjust that people who have been unfortunate enough to suffer an episode of mental illness have this fact placed on their otherwise unblemished CRB.

  • Alistair Campbell

    Eileen, I’ve just come across your story after following a convoluted path through Twitter and accepting to follow Alastair’s feed. I’m 54 and a company director from Glasgow who has struggled with depression since 2002 and was diagnosed as bipolar in 2008. Your story is horrendous however take heart from Alastair’s posting of your story on this website and the support give to you below. You have many supporters out there so please you us if you need encouragement. xx

  • Stuart

    I wasn’t ranting at you or taking issue as such, just exploring some of the points you made – my apologies if it came across to the contrary in the wording.

  • Eileen

    Thanks Stu for your careful/considered response, I agree with everything you say, well done and thankss. Eileen

  • Eileen

    Hi Gilliebc

    thanks for that, I will as I may have said before follow that up. The Manchester Evening News have picked up this story and are going to be doing a piece on me and this issue next week, lets keep this in the public domain for as long as possible and hopefully with a combined effort, change can happen. Lets hope so

  • Eileen

    So are you endorsing the criminalisation of mental illness?

    The police chose to put that information in ‘at their discretion’.

    I have friends who have been hospitalised due to mental ill health and not once has this been included in their CRB.(quite rightly!)

    So, it appears, there is no edict (from the home office or otherwise) that says this should be included as standard in a CRB check, so in my opinion, that makes the constabulary in question, culpable.

    And what is included in a CRB , on a par with a postcode lottery, surely this isn’t acceptable?

  • Eileen

    well said Stu

  • Eileen

    Exactly, that is the point! I have grown-up children myself and I do not deny that they have suffered as result of my illness as have friends and family but at no point have I been a threat to them or others. The main person I put as risk was myself. I also agree with Stuart that the police need training and understanding of people with MH issues as my experience over the course of my illness ( with the police) has been negative.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TZ5PEVTYCNPYT3CJHYS2NXEX7A clare

    This is an awful development if we have the full picture. Were the police involved in Eileen’s admission? If they were it is perhaps less alarming that they have the information. Otherwise it is a gross intrusion that will deter people asking for help if all secondary admissions are shared with police. Even if they were involved, it is concerning, but less alarming that a blanket approach has not crept in.

  • MicheleB

    Welcome Robert, thanks for posting.

    Disappointing to see though that despite the facts there is still (understandable but not helpful) emoting.

    The OP is about a recovered person hoping to help others with their needs and the more I think about it the more I become convinced about two things:

    - the extra checks to be done for someone helping adults and children with mental health matters should be separately-named from CRB. 
    Too many on thread are taking offence about something that is actually discrete from criminal records and feeling aspersions are being cast. 
    Simply adding the word ‘Enhanced’ to a bog-stnadard CRB, something that’s specifically about criminality, seems mad and bound to cause offence.  clumsy in the extreme.

    - the extra checks REALLY could be more for the protection of the recovered person, recovery can be fragile. 
    We saw Dream School, we saw how badly some adults were affected by the behaviour of some disturbed juveniles, how badly-affected could a recovering person be?

    ‘Enhanced CRB’ = cr*p offensive name.

    .

  • Eileen

    Thank you for the information, I will keep a close eye on the changes. I agree this is a difficult area but am pleased to note your comments.I will sign up for developments. The thing to remember is I am just one of many people who have come up against this wall.I have spoken to reformed criminals as well who have retrained in mental health with a good deal to offer only to be stopped in their tracks by their past.Without wishing to muddy the waters ( as I do not have any criminal convictions) but there many people who may have committed a crime ( albeit a menial one such as taking a swipe at someone in their youth) but cannot get it erased for the purposes of a CRB check. I just feel that if we genuinely believe in the rehabiliation of offenders (obviously certain crimes must be exempt) that this also needs to be looked at.

  • Eileen

    This is my question too, how did they get the information and is it standard procedure to trawl through someone’s medical history just to see if they have had an episode of mental ill  health. I am hoping someone will be able to answer this question

  • Eileen

    It appears that way, so what ever you do, don’t ever become mentally unwell

  • MicheleB

    This specific case is specifically about someone applying to work with children or vulnerable adults.

    Those are the only jobs against which CRB checks are made and followed the Soham murders.

  • Gilliebc

    Well I don’t think it helps at all!  This info. is easily accessed by anyone with a computer.
    What I and others want to know is how a person’s mental health history,
    finds its way on to the CR’s in the first place!
    In other words, what are the rules/guidlines?  Does this apply to people that have been “sectioned” only?  Or, does it also apply to people that have been an in-patient on a voluntary basis, or even a person that has consulted his or her GP for help and advice?
    That is what we want to know and it’s not easy to find out!  I’ve checked on the CRB website and also the Mind website, but was unable to find anything remotely relevent!

  • Gilliebc

    Hi Bob, I’ve been trying to find an answer to you very interesting question
    for the last hour or so.  With no luck so far!  So much for this fair and open society.

  • Eileen

    Thanks for your support, I will take it to the European Court of Human Rights if i have to,but if there is a solicitor out there who would like to represent me please get in touch

  • Amandal

    I have known Eileen for only two years but I have found her to be kind, thoughtful towards other people and with these attributes would be an excellent befriender of people with any mental illness. I find it unbelievable that these checks and the arbitrary information that is included (at the police’s discretion) stops someone like Eileen who actually knows what it feels like to have mental ill health, working in this field.I fully support Eileen in her campaign to get this highly discriminatory statement removed.

  • Andrew

    I would like to know whether Mind has given adequate coverage of this and as to whether this has been raised at the highest level.

    Surely this is a contravention of The Human Rights Act and an action in the courts should be enacted to reverse  this clear case of discrimination on health grounds.

    This case should not disappear from the headlines.

  • MicheleB

    If you don’t mind my saying so Eileeen, the whipping up that is going on here is cruel and pointless, it shows a level of manipulation and illogicality that speaks the wrong sort of volumes.

    CRBs are only taken out on people hoping to work with children and vulnerable adults, as posted before they are something that ‘only’ started after the Soham murders, the two little girls killed by their school’s caretaker and his manipulated girlfriend.

    They are taken out on teachers, on nurses, on social workers, on many types of professionals.  Consider yourself in good company and get real.

    .

  • MicheleB

    Gilliebc  in reply to Robert
    Well I don’t think it helps at all!  This info. is easily accessed by anyone with a computer.

    ——————–

    NOT true
    Why whip things up?
    Especially in such an arena making people feel they are being victimised?

    Very misguided blog imhoo

  • MicheleB

    You are wanting to befriend/work with other adults going through (hopefully temporary) emotional problems.

    Wouldn’t they need calm responses to problems like this?
    .

  • MicheleB

    Would you like to read this info Eileen?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_Records_Bureau

    It seems to be at odds with the contemporary-ness of your report.

  • Wandie

    If the op was detained under police section 136 then it would come ip on a CRB check as *potentially* a danger to children and vulnerable adults …. Not saying it’s right but it’s not the first time I have heard about this happening – a PNC check would definitely show a s136 and that’s covered on the CRB. Eileen I am not asking to disclose whether you ever been detained by the police on a s136 just demonstrating a situation where it could come up on a crb.

  • Mrs.Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    LOOK. oOPS. That’s better. Now That I’ve sorted the capital lock thing out..

    It seems to me that old argument about the forces of conservatism should be looked at again. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. As a modern citizen it’s very important to remain vigilant in the face of any whose opinion is tantamount to a death sentence ie with respect to this broader context;

     -the UK doesn’t do death sentences or anything that turns out to be in effect like one – even unnecessary or inappropriate dismissals or preposterous and pretentious tactics associated with risks that even the CEO of the HSE is now up in arms against (“gloves off” I’ve heard). Surely this tale reminds us how important it is to get a second opinion – so that we can believe the one we like.

    Privacy, dignity and autonomy is key. Never sign anything that isn’t properly regulated ie in a way that enables open, decent, transparent accountability to inform everyone concerned, equally eg via a decent raising a concern policy.

  • Ehtch

    What goes on in our civil service, law imposers on the ground that is – police and border control and all - does display a madness of it’s own, like a higher form of a jobsworth mentality, and it has been going on and developing in the last three decades. No need to mention who from above started this state of mind towards everyday citizens on the streets, with the government then knowing to be able to afford to union bash, with North Sea oil receipts in their back pocket, and made them able to form such thinking in the people on the ground.

    And the experience of this lady just continues it, and towards implosion of simple human compassion and dignity. Furthermore, the police and the border guards I see on these real-life tv shows look like sacks of, well, you know, they need to iron their kit before duty at least, and generally need to lose some weight. They look as it they couldn’t run a mile and a half in eleven minutes, which was the annual test to be able to continue their service. They give the UK a bad name, is all I say, as well.

  • MicheleB

    Durrrrrr.  My post should start more clearly as being a quote :-
    from Gilliebc 
    in reply to Robert

    ……………”Well I
    don’t think it helps at all!  This info. is easily accessed by anyone
    with a computer.”

    ———————  NOT true, the whipping up here should stop

  • Anonymous

    Colleagues and I documented many of the problems with government data sharing in a report, Database State, that we wrote for the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust in 2009. I’m afraid the police hoover up all sorts of data they shouldn’t; they grabbed to all prescription data in 1996 (but didn’t catch Shipman), and recently there was even an attempt to get the records of all under-16s who have had terminations of pregnancy. They’ll argue that mental health data are relevant to policing as about half the people in prison have mental health problems. Health data are increasingly available centrally because of the NHS’s National Programme for IT, which has moved many records from hospitals and surgeries to data centres run by companies like BT. The police no longer have to ask doctors nicely to get your records; they just tell contractors to hand it over, and the contractors have no incentive to resist.

    I have never been convinced that CRB checks do any good. In every developed country, about one child gets killed by a stranger every year per 10,000,000 population , regardless of policy. This is one of the least significant causes of child death. But such cases make compelling headlines, and politicians resort to the security syllogism: “something must be done; this is something; therefore it must be done”. By the way, the Soham killer did not get access to children because he worked at a school, but because he was sleeping with a classroom assistant; and it’s never been proposed that school staff should have to get CRB clearance for all their sex partners.

    Many suspect that CRB does actual harm, as suicide is a vastly more significant cause of mortality among children and young people, and CRB checks have cut by about 30% the numbers of adults who volunteer for scout groups, school music lessons and other activities that enable young people to develop friendships with adults other than their relatives.

    Michael Bichard’s report into the Soham murders was used by civil service empire builders to justify not just the CRB system but also the new Police National Database which went live last month. That means that your mental health data will be available if you come into contact with the police. I expect this will result in stigmatisation: if you have a  psychiatric history (or even once had a prescription for antidepressants) then you may be more likely to be treated as a suspect than as a witness. If you’re a crime victim the police may assume you wouldn’t be a good witness and may not pursue the case. Much of this is illegal under human-rights law, but as you note, it costs a lot of money to enforce your human rights. It’s also deeply regressive; over 30% of men have criminal records by age 40, and the poor are much more heavily represented there than the upper middle class. How curious that a Labour government introduced all this nonsense, and a Conservative one is trimming some of it back.

  • MicheleB

    Gilliebc  in reply to Robert
    Well I don’t think it helps at all!  This info. is easily accessed by anyone with a computer.

    ————————–

    Absolute utter hysterical crap
    Hardly likely to comfort Eileen or anyone else undergoing CRB checks

    Don’t forget that Eileen is possibly still vulnerable herself, vulnerable to some of the damaged people she might need to work with/befriend. 

    ………. or forget that the professionals that helped Eileen would have been so checked.

    Just as some of the non-professionals (as well as the professionals) in Dream School definitely appeared challenged and temporarily damaged.

    Don’t forget that the professionals that helped Eileen would have been so checked, for her safety.

    Apparently CRBs have been loosened by our NiD Govt since last year, let’s hope that has nothing to do with what we saw in the Panorama expose.
    .

  • MicheleB

    “………….So are you endorsing the criminalisation of mental illness?……”

    Had you bothered to read the whole blog you would know damn well I am not.

    You might also have gleaned that I have said several times that the slapdash linkage of Enhanced checks, which are specifically about NON-criminal issues, being linked (in name only) with checks for issues that ARE criminal is stupid.

    It would be much better if you behaved objectively Eileen and recognised that for SOME recovering people (maybe not you, maybe you are luckier than some) and the utter lack of empathy about the holistic reasons for ‘enhanced’ checks is real and valid.

    ———————–

    Your friends who have not been CRB-checked would not have been applying for jobs with chikldren or vulnerable adults; have you not understood yet that that is the criteria?

    ——————-

    Yaddering about the constabulary that is following its orders from Home Office/Govt is spiteful.

    Pretending that you are being victimised about something that would have happened to anyone with the same history applying for a similar role is spiteful, pretending there is any ‘postcode lottery’ involved is lying and your likers are simply winding you up and watching you go.
     

  • MicheleB

    Oh here we go again   ………………………….

    Stuart in reply to MicheleB

    “………………Michele, there have always been 1001 dangers to children,
    throughout time, our nowadays is no different to our yesterdays………………”

    Some new dangers are very different to those of yesterday.

    Would you like a list of all the NEW dangers, all the new ‘viruses’, all
    the new opportunities for access to children and people in care (their very being in care making them targetable)?  Ask elsewhere as I tend to get impatient with such determined ignorance. 

    —————————-

    I did not invent ‘Children 1st’, it is an overreaction imhoo BUT while
    ever it exists it overrides other people’s rights in favour of children’s, just as its name
    suggests. 

    It was imported from USA, their main raison d’etre could well have been to avoid compensation claims.  I hope that wasn’t UK Govt’s, I prefer to think it was an honest attempt to prevent anything like the Soham murders ever happening again c/o a school employee.

    It’s heavy-handed and expensive but relaxxxxx; Gove and his fellow NiDs will end up sweeping it away rather than re-modelling it. He made his first move earlier this week, inviting everyone and their second cousin in to schools to keep them open.

  • MicheleB

    There seems to be a typo in the OP Eileen that it would be good if edited …..

    Does your ………….
    “In November 2010 I was discharged back to the care of my GP”
    ……………actually mean Nov 2009?

    It seems to me that it’s a shame the organisation for vulnerable people that you applied to work with in June 2010 didn’t explain the level of CRB fully to you, not least because they are so costly and can be a setback.

    .

  • Stephen Gerard Scullion

    …it’s a catch-22 situation; you try to be honest, regarding getting back nto the workforce, but get punished for doing so! I know, as I am in the same boat!

  • Stephen Gerard Scullion

    I am, at the moment, involved with ‘Time to Change’ Campaign; and am a Mental Health Sports Trainer on an Ad Hoc basis. I am also involved with a BBC programme, entitiled ‘Inside-Out’ which is an investigative programme, regarding unemployment, and the barrriers to gaining employment.
    If only central government could put more money into raising the profile of Mental Health Concerns, it would enable everyone to live in a more positive and understanding society.

  • Alan

    Eileen – you have my sympathy. People in the UK are weakened
    at least twice by mental health issues, firstly by the actual illness and
    secondly by the obligatory paper trail that is supposed to protect vulnerable
    people in our risk averse society.

    In 2002, my family moved to the Lincolnshire coast to help
    my daughter recover from a serious illness, my partner had also just lost her brother
    in a tragic accident.

    To cut a long story short we became victims of an abusive neighbour who was known to the police. He made our
    lives a misery, threatened us daily and said his mates where IRA members and
    would blow us up if we didn’t buy goods off him – he used the money for booze. Several
    incidents were recorded by the police and Victim Support informed us that we
    were victims of a crime, however, no one could help us because he knew just how
    far to go to evade prosecution.

    I became reclusive and depressed. I was prescribed prozac because
    I felt it was my fault for deciding to move to the area .

    About 6 months after the abuse began we received a letter from
    Children’s Services saying that there had been an incident reported to the
    NSPCC about my partner pulling my daughter’s arm as she got out of the car in
    our driveway. Still the police couldn’t do anything. Shortly after receiving
    the letter, the same day, I saw the neighbour in the street, he admitted being
    responsible for writing to the NSPCC to get his own back for phoning the police
    – he found it extremely amusing so I punched him once on the nose.

    I have no previous history of violence but I now have a
    police caution on the reverse side of my CRB Advanced Disclosure. I don’t
    regret in the slightest sticking up for my family – it was long overdue. But I
    do know how it feels to have a black mark that doesn’t explain the nuances
    behind the incident – this is what I object to and not the actual caution.

    Last year I applied for a position as parent governor, the
    school took sometime reaching a decision but I got the job, of which I am very
    proud. However, each and every time I apply for something new I will have
    to  explain the circumstances behind
    ABH/Common Assault on my CRB. I wish I hadn’t accepted a caution but just
    wanted a quiet life as I was feeling really low.

    I do understand that my case is different to yours but do
    understand how you feel.

    Best wishes and good luck     
     

  • MicheleB

    As your abiding interest/career (?) is about the impossibility of any computer system being secure, the impossibility of their being infallible, perhaps it behoves you to pose an alternative system?

    Simply dissing is dead easy.

    Given the news today that Gove is reducing schools guidance procedures by more than 90%, you’ll have less of it to do. 
    Gove’s motive?  I suppose something had to be done to enable non-trained ‘teachers’ in to ‘free’ schools. 

  • Gilliebc

    MicheleB,  It’s obvious to most of us on this page that you have got hold of the wrong end of the stick on this particular issue from the offset.  It’s little wonder that you are becoming “impatient” your word, with posts that do not fit with your perception of things.  Since your perception is based on the wrong assumption in the first place.

    There is not a single person on this page who wants anything changed that could possibly lead to the endangerment of children or any vulnerable person.
    That is not the issue.

    “Absolute utter hysterical crap”  your words about a post I made in reply to Robert.  Well, I really had to laugh out loud at that hysterical remark!  What I wrote in reply to Robert was the truth.  Nothing more, nothing less.

    You also wrote about “the whipping up that is going on here” in disparaging terms!  another laugh out loud, from me.  As far as I can see the only one whipping things up around here is you.  So why not just try and calm down and enjoy your evening.

  • Eileen

    Hi Clare, the police were not involved in my admission. Having said that bI have had ‘dealings’ with them over the years for various reasons, some relating to crimes committed against me which were never taken seriously and some ‘contact when I was unwell. All in all I have found them (the police) to be generally unhelpful”

  • Eileen

    All I can say is that from talking to other people who have been sectioned (but in a different part of the country) in particular to one friend (in the north) who has been sectioned three times and works with vulnerable adults sharing her skills/experience gleaned over many years, that not once has this been mentioned on her CRB. She runs courses for victims of crime ( amongst other things) and contributes a huge amount. It just seems that it is down to the police force of the area that you happen to live in, which surely can’t be right. I too have a lot to offer and because of my experience ( of being in hospital , living with Bi Polar disorder etc) I decided to train in mental health, which is what I have been doing for the last 18 months, with a view to becoming a mental health advocate.The good news is that most mental health organisations see’ lived experience ‘as a positive and I live in hope that should apply to one of these, they would not reject me ( as the last org did). By the way, you maybe pleased to hear that Rochdale & District Mind are going to look into challenging the  org that did turn me down.Either way, I do not see myself as a victim, rather a champion and I will not let the B******ds grind me down!

  • Eileen

    Thank you for sharing your very difficult and painful experience. You kind of sum it up really. I would like to say though for the record. As someone who has used mental health services, who was deeply affected by the Soham murders ( my children were still quite young at the time) I completely get the reasons for Enhanced CRB’s and the need to protect vulnerable adults and children. Of course I am not against them. There just still seems to be too much of grey area when it comes to the mental health issue. I will  leave it at that. Thank you for your good wishes.

  • Eileen

    This is very useful information and does at last clarify the hows/whys the police get this information. It certainly doesn’t make for comfortable reading and does not put my mind at ease, far from it, but thank you anyway.

  • MicheleB

    I’ve not got hold of the wrong end of the stick Gillie, those that are showing themselves only capable of comforting Eileen by agreeing with her angst have. 

    When I described your post as absolute utter hysterical crap I did you the service of quoting your words.  Perhaps if you disagree with my assessment of them you should explain those words, which were :-
    …………………   “Well I don’t think it helps at all!  This info. is easily accessed by anyone with a computer” ……………………..
    Prove it.

    I don’t think you are doing Eileen or other reader any favour or kindness by whipping crap up with that stick.  I feel like saying that anyone with a computer can post lies on the internet and I think my statement is more true than yours.

    Eileen was badly let down by the organisation she hoped to work with if they did not explain to her what an Enhanced CRB would cover; I believe they knew she is a recovering person herself (given that Eileen justifiably feels her own experience could be her qualification to help there).

    The only way a person can do such work (be it voluntary or paid) is with the Enhanced (and more costly) searches, not the ‘standard’ CRB. 
    We
    have been misled by the title and the info in the OP (easy enough to happen, I’ve myself used just ‘CRB’ at times on thread when meaning Enhanced).

    Lastly and most importantly imhoo I will repeat for the umpteenth time that it could be a blessing that recovering people are also protected by these measures, their situations can be fragile and their clients less so. 

    Ooops, another thing, I also posted (but can’t find it) about what we were all criticising a couple of weeks ago; thugs working in care homes.  I would like to know if they had all been ECRB-checked.

    You see, Gillie, I don’t want to have my cake and eat it as so many do.
    I don’t want to rant and rave about bad care while also ranting and raving about the developing/evolving methods of preventative measures.

  • MicheleB

    Something else as an umpteenth appearance.Re your :
              Gilliebc in reply to Rober

              What I and others want to know is how a person’s mental             health history,finds its way on to the CR’s in the first place!

    It doesn’t.
    A basic CRB is purely about criminal records and is much more widely used, for people handling money/accounts.
    An enhanced CRB is purely about employment with children and vulnerable adults.
    Its linkage with a basic CRB is horrendously offensive and clumsy. 
    What’s in a name?  In this case far too much. 

    However, there is no way that someone paying for an ECRB doesn’t know they are paying the extra for its extra searches and I don’t believe they are discriminatory, they are for the protection of those on each side of care.

  • Ehtch

    Suppose the point here is that we are all special cases. Some I have met have never seen the inside of a psychiatric hospital, even though, personally, at the time, they should check in.

    Modern life makes people build their defences within themselves, more than ever, but sometimes, jeez, modern life from anytime overpowers them

  • MicheleB

    2009 April – diagnosed bi-polar
    2009 Nov – discharged from Glenbourne, back to care of GP (no info about when or why hospitalised)
    2010 June – applied for post as a Befriender with Making Space; applied for CRB (for the type of post it must have been at Enhanced level and price)
    2010 Aug – received CRB Enhanced report (which enquires about both criminal and non-criminal recorded data) in which information known at that time was included
    2010  ??  – employed by Making Space despite the report
    2010 Nov – CRB revised as the result of a request for it to be updated (ie: Police complied with subject’s recent request that they get more info from the hospital)
    2010 Nov – employed by Future Jobs Work Scheme
    2011 May 9th – turned down for another job elsewhere (type of which not shown)
    2011 July – claiming that present UNemployment is the fault of the Police (for their having factually answered questions put to them)

    So :
    Making Space were able to overlook the ECRB  and offer work
    Police have updated ECRB following new information
    Recent employer was not able to overlook ECRB even with the new info

    Reaction by prospecitve employers to ECRBs is subjective
    It is not the Police’s role is to withhold facts.

    Just who IS being discriminatory here Eileen?
    Your grudges about the Police show very plainly in your reply to Clare

    To Gillie:
    Yep, I’m back on thread (or ‘all over it’ as you put it)
    That’s because I am in the minority
    It’s kind of like Physics

  • Megandlg

    Eileen, I am shocked and incensed by this.
    I have had bipolar disorder for over 20 years and have in the past been sectioned on a section 136 and taken to a safe place by the police, having been rescued before jumping off a very high building. I have been sectioned 3 times that I can remember (and maybe more that I can’t remember), on both section 2 and 3. I have tried to hurt myself many many times. Now I have been well for almost 9 years and have not required hospitalisation in this time at all.

    During these 9 years I have gained a BA degree and an MA degree and have recently begun working as a social worker in children’s team. During my training and for my work I have required at least 3 separate CRBs (enhanced checks) and never to my knowledge has my mental health been referred to on them. (I have disclosed it to the occupational health service of my employer, but neither human resources nor my manger know the details of my health- just that I am covered by the Equality Act due to disability- at the agreement of both myself and the occ health doctor).

    Why am I explaining this to counter some of the previous suggestions to those who assert that the “children first” policy supersedes the rights of individuals to protect the details of their private mental health from being disclosed on irrelevant documents. Mental health is not a crime- and it makes very few people a risk to any children, other than very occasionally their own (in terms of neglect during periods of acute illness). Being detained by the police on a section 136 is not a crime and is not recorded on the PNC- it is a civil detention which only enables them to move a person to a place of safety (usually A&E) where a mental health professional can assess them for further detention (sectioning).

    I’d be questioning not just why the police felt it necessary to disclose this informstion on your CRB- but also why the local mental health trust felt it appropriate to disclose confidential information about your hospital admission to them without an adequate ‘need to know’ reason (as this is the only way the police could know this).

  • Gilliebc

    Okay Michele, first of all, full credit to you for your persistence on this issue!
    Doubt you were expecting that praise!  I’m even willing to overlook your occasional mis-quoting of me on this page, because I’m not petty and it will detract from the main issue.

    It does seem that Eileen, the lady at the centre of this debate has had contact with the police on more than one occasion!  Eileen herself says:  “contact when I was unwell” and “as my experience over the course of my illness (with the police) has been negative”

    I’m sorry to say this Eileen and also to any one else whose mental illness has involved the police, especially in only a minor way such as comenter DPM.
    But the fact that the police were involved at all Eileen and on more than one occasion! is very worrying, I think and I think that it would be safe to say, worrying for most people.

    As I understand it this bi-polar mental illness can only be “managed” with the necessary drug treatment, rather than “cured”  Therefore, it seems reasonable to me that this is kept on record to be seen by anyone seeking to employ someone to work with children and vulnerable people of all ages.

    Eileen, I still “applaud” your decision to go public on this issue.  But let’s be realistic here.  You, yourself would still fall into the category of a vulnerable person and whilst your own experiences would be interesting and possibly of some value to others suffering similarly, maybe this could be achieved by you in a voluntary and supervised way.  But, if you are hoping to find paid work in this particular area, then I think you will be disappointed.

    It is right and proper in a civilised society that people that seek to work with children and the vulnerable are “squeaky clean” which of course is nigh-on impossible, given that some of those will not have been diagnosed yet or have yet to have a crime recorded.  So with all these anomalies still to overcome any agency/organisation “worth its salt” is not going to employ someone who already has documented problems, are they?

    On balance, i.e. weighing-up the pros and cons, I believe it is right that these records are kept, for the greater good.  Others may disagree as is their right of course.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1481526852 Alison Stevens

    Guest blog revealing mental health discrimination in CRB checkshttp://www.alastaircampbell.org/blog/2011/06/30/guest-blog-revealing-mental-health-discrimination-in-crb-checks/MY THOUGHTSI
    did know that this could be a real problem, PAIN have had cases,one of
    which a diagnosis of MSBP, was made by by a GP, who made a referral to
    Social Services, after a Mum kept taking her son to the GP, with severe
    headaches, and ear infections, even though her son was under a
    Paediatrician at Great Ormond Street childrens Hospital with a brain
    related problem.A pre proceedings meeting was arranged, the Local Authority placed the boy on a child protection care plan.The
    Mother, a bank Psychiatric Nurse, was informed a week later that the
    Hospital trust had held a meeting with the Police, without her prior
    knowledge.The outcome was that she was suspended, on no pay,
    because she was only classed as a temporary worker, leaving her
    financially burdened, as she would of had to wait for several weeks,
    for a claim of job seekers allowance.The Lady kept her child,
    but her character has been tarnished, with reference to the MSBP
    diagnosis being recorded on her enhanced CRB disclosure.There
    is also a real worry about the National mental health register, i
    didn’t know it existed until a letter arrived from my GP, inviting me
    to go for a yearly screening.I have suffered from depression
    for years after enduring many years of severe abdominal pain caused by
    crohns disease and adhesion’s.The condition as some what worsened over the years, causing depression, due to long term severe abdominal pain.The
    receptionist at the surgery tried to contact the mental health
    facilitator, because i wanted to talk to her about what the screening
    would entail.There was no feedback of what organisation she
    worked for, one telephone call revealed that she had not worked at that
    Department for two years.Due to the lack of transparency, i
    issued her with a data protection request on the day of the
    appointment, which she was very bemused about, she stated that her
    company did not hold any information on file about myself.She was writing notes about me, so i knew that her comment was a complete lie.On leaving the surgery she gave me a booklet about the mental health facilitators work.I
    was in despair to read, that my name was on the mental health register,
    my GP also confirmed this, his lack of concern was unbelievable, i had
    spent all that weekend researching the matter.My GP comments were, the register had not prevented me getting anything, such as passport, job etc.I asked if i could be removed from the register , his answer was no, and that in my own mind, i could be stigmatized for life.All my CRB disclosures are clear.One
    of our Solicitors said he may take up the cause, if my GP refused to
    even mention that i could be on this register for life, which is the
    case, but i should of been informed about the former, and asked if i
    minded being on the register.I will be on the case this week, now that i have seen this shocking report.

  • MicheleB

    Yes I am persistent Gillie; often more to my own annoyance with myself than that of others.  Huge LOL for you (I do like just that one acronym, it’s so daft).

    I can’t stand seeing hysteria happening because of guessing and opining, especially when so many facts have been placed and also don’t enjoy pointing out other possibilities to someone as disappointed as Eileen already is. 

    Neither did I enjoy seeing Eileen’s emotions being bashed around by populist ‘agreement’.  Two employers have decided they could overlook things that the latest couldn’t so ECRB and whoever completed it isn’t even a common denominator. 

    We don’t know whether ECRB is the only (or real) reason for eventual rejection by the third; there could be other prejudices involved and sadly, DoB is not the least of them but one that no employer would admit to …… yeah …… blaming another agency could hide another prejudice. 

    Another could be the terms of one employer’s insurance cover vs another’s. 

    I was especially bothered about the bandwagon target of this thread being that group that we know are being lined up for even more paycuts and won’t they be a lot easier to effect if public opinion is lined up against them as it could well be after more pay&pension demos?

    However, my Pimms are downed so night night.
    .

  • Phil Booth

    Dear Eileen,

    As someone who has campaigned for years on data privacy and related issues and who also manages a bipolar condition, I share your concern and dismay.

    I fear you have suffered, and will continue to suffer, the side-effects of multiple, inflexible and overlapping (largely) bureaucratic measures in the healthcare, ‘child protection’ and policing systems. And, of course, the pervasive institutional and individual prejudice against mental illness which many good folk are fighting to overturn.

    I fear it will be a long battle, but it is winnable if people like yourself (and Alastair – hat tip, mate) are brave enough to stand up and speak out. I applaud you for doing so.

    As my colleague Professor Ross Anderson has also written in the comments, at least some of the problems are down to the sheer amount of data that is ‘hoovered up’ and shared around. Often completely unnecessarily.

    Ross points out the fallacies at the heart of some of the emotive arguments used to justify such ‘blanket’ sharing, and the Database State report and other research suggests thousands of others *each year* may be denied work or volunteering positions, sometimes because of utterly trivial mismatches within the CRB system.

    Your case is far from trivial, but even though you have been able to get the police to amend your CRB record you will still be exposed to the same sort of prejudice until the problem is sorted. And a solution is not simple.

    One immediate thought, which has been mentioned or alluded to elsewhere in the comments:

    There is a Freedom Bill currently going through Parliament. The section pertinent to your situation appears to be Section 80, “Enhanced criminal record certificates: additional safeguards” which appears (on initial reading at least) to provide some means by which a person might have certain information expunged from a CRB certificate.

    I suggest you make representations directly and via your MP to the Home Secretary, and – as the Bill has yet to reach the House of Lords – to a peer or peers who have experience in these matters. If you are unsure as to how you might do this, please feel free to e-mail me at phil truth2power org uk (I hope that’s clear) and I’ll give you what help I can.

    Such appeals would, of course, be far from ideal – they will be complicated, no doubt some people and agencies will do all they can to obstruct removal, and it will still probably only be after someone has suffered the results of privacy breach and subsequent prejudice / loss of job / other consequence that they will be able to do anything – if, indeed, they are even aware of what they can do!

    Unpicking the whole problem will require a combination effort. For starters, one needs to tackle the absolute inflexibility of the Mental Health Register (to which data is captured via a mandatory form that contains no field or free text section in which medics can indicate that a person is successfully managing their condition) and, at the other end, the over-wide accessibility of highly sensitive mental health information to agencies that demonstrate time and again an inability to handle such information sensibly or appropriately.

    But don’t forget that the police, as much as anybody in this situation, are suffering from fear and paranoia – their instinct is reveal everything, to cover their arses (if you’ll pardon the expression) because they simply aren’t qualified – nor could they ever reasonably be expected to predict – the relevance of what is quite clearly complex medical information. So they have to be told not to, and those in power have to back up the decision when the media next go baying for blood…

    You seem to have the bit between your teeth. I encourage you to see this through – you will be doing a great service to many people less able to help themselves. As I say, I’m happy to help as far as I can. And I’m sure I and folks at the mental health charities can put you in touch with others who can help you too.

    Phil Booth (former National Coordinator, NO2ID)

  • J D Rushbrook

    I am sorry to hear what has happened to Eileen, this is so typical on how some statutory bodies misuse information and, to what end? Since when has having a mental illness beem a criminal offence. I therfor would not expect this entry to be made on which after all is a record of criminal behavoiur.

    I believe that Devon and Cornwall Police need to offer a full explanation to Eileen.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TZ5PEVTYCNPYT3CJHYS2NXEX7A clare

    Thanks Eileen for your response. I think your mentioning about coming into contact with the police when unwell may be the critical point here? Ie if you came into contact with them, it is likely that that contact triggered the episode being recorded rather than the hospital admission/ use of secondary services (I hope?!).

  • Eileen

    Thank you Phil, at last some practical way to challenge this. I will email you if that’s OK. Thanks for your offer of assistance. I could use it!

  • Eileen

    Wow, how inspiring and really encourages me to keep going. Thank you so much. I  myself have just completed a course of study in mental health and am looking to move onto the next level. Before I became ill I got my degree and post grad qualifications (in English, Journalism and Marketing)but through and because of my condition, I decided I wanted to use this experience ( in a paid capacity Gililebc!) which I am being encouraged to do all the time by the paid professionals I currently work with at Mind I also do valuable work ( unpaid) with patients currently in a psychiatric unit through Rochdale & District Mind.So, if I can be trusted to work with vulnerable adults on a voluntary basis, it makes sense (to me) that I can do this in a paid capacity too. So Megandlg, thank you again for highlighting the arbitrary nature of the statement on my ECRB. I maybe quieting some of the arguments that have appeared on this blog.

  • David

    Well, this is interesting. First, let me declare that I’ve never been diagnosed with any mental illness.
    Two things:
    Early last year, I attempted to use an Oyster card at a tube station. Didn’t work. Didn’t work again. At the third attempt, it did work – but the ticket attendant decided to call me back. Apparently I shouldn’t have done this, I should have gone over to him. ‘But it works now.’ I said. ‘That’s not the point Sir,’ he said. ‘Well, sorry,’ I said, baffled. ‘Look, do you mind if I go through now? I have an appointment.’ At this point 2 policemen decided to become involved. They demanded to inspect my Oyster card, looked at it, gave it back, let me put it away, then demanded to see it again. Then they wanted id. It seemed that they were trying to make me angry. I was lectured on my duty to cooperate with the police. ‘About what?’ ‘I don’t like your attitude, sir.’ A ‘laugh’ was had. ‘Look, I NEED TO GO THROUGH.’ I said. Then they told me I was obviously a bit mental and that I should mind my attitude.
    What?
    And unrelated to this, I rented some office accommodation last year. It seems that the landlords are now required, by the police, to take and keep a copy of my passport on file. Who sees this? ‘Just our staff.’ This, several times (though one company only needed to see it, once, not retain a copy.)
    Same for renting a mailbox. Storage is actually worse — they need my next of kin to fill in a form. I’m 38! My father is in his 70s – why must he be involved? ‘Because the police say so.’

    It seems that a lot of things are now in the police’s remit. Bullies, I call them.

  • http://twitter.com/nerd8192 Seth Kneller

    Hello Eileen,

    I have also had so called “welfare checks” made by Devon and Cornwall Police put on my CRB check and also an incident where I was arrested, but not charged.

    Has anyone come forward to help you (and others in the same situation) with this? Pro-bono legal help or that sort of thing?

    What scares me about CRB is that there are a lot of jobs that have no connection with children/vulnerable adults, but require a check – I usually work in IT and I have to be very careful about what jobs I apply for. The whole system has gone mad really.

    Seth

  • David

    It was John Major’s government who, as well as making the railways safer wanted to make the streets safer by compelling anyone who’d ever been diagnosed with a mental illness to sign on a register to be held by the police.
    It was Tony Blair’s government who decided against this. Gordon Brown’s government didn’t take the plan up again.
    So which government decided to put this through quietly? I don’t know, but I’d guess Cameron’s – if any. It may well be that the police have decided to take this responsibility on themselves. It reminds me of James Anderton, who said that the police needed to show a moral lead and spent a lot of time raiding newsagents and relieving them of their (admittedly unpleasant) top shelf material when you and I, perhaps, might prefer the police to spend their time chasing burglars, muggers and speeding drivers.

  • Lynn harrison

    I currently have a case being heard by an Employment Tribunal, the final hearing is on August 4, where a local authority withdrew and offer of employment (ironically, as a mental health rehabilitation officer to work to support people to love in the community and into employment) on the grounds of both my diagnosis, bpd, and on the grounds of my CRB which showed no convictions but a string of subjective comments by the police back to 2004 as a result of local crisis team’s inability to support me due to poor staffing and them having called police to carry out ‘safe and well’ checks where young male officers saw that the most expedient way to deal with someone who was depressed was often to forcibly drag them from their home and detain them under section 136 in a police cell. I made complaints to the IPCC, one of which was investigated for 9 months, yet dropped due to lack of evidence despite photographic and medical evidence of injuries sustained on one of these occasions where I was treated as a criminal. Aside from the trauma etc (the figures for the number of people taking their own lives after detention like this are depressing reading), it then leads employers to regard potential employees with the same reservations (unjustifiably) as someone with a criminal record and this information, subjective and written by people with no training in mental health, cannot be challenged and indeed remains on someone’s CRB for longer than a minor criminal offence. My solicitor is confident that I will win my case, TTC and Mind declined to take it but thank goodness for The Community Legal Service. I have to say that subsequent employers informed me having read my CRB that it merely indicated to them what an awful time I had experienced and survived.

  • Al

    I haven’t had a chance to read the comments below to your story, but have been afflicted by a similar situation with my CRB. I took an overdose and the police were called to enter my flat. This has also been recorded on my CRB. I have also had a section 136 – when I went to the local crisis team out of hours, who called the police as I had had some alcohol, I was not drunk, and it was protocol not to assess somebody who has had any alcohol until the morning.

    As a result of my CRB I lost my part time job working as a health care assistant and also my place as a 3rd year student on a medical degree. I also cannot return to my previous career as a teacher. Due to the financial situation I was left in, I lost my flat and am currently homeless. 

    I have never commited a crime in my life – in fact my mental ill health has been caused by a serious crime against me. I feel I am being punished for having a mental health problem and that I will never be able to return to any of the careers I have spent 10 years and thousands of pounds of my own (and government money) training for, even if I fully recover.

    Furthermore, I had never done anything at work that would warrent my dismissal. I had excellent references and I had passed my medical course. I cannot argue ‘discrimination’ as it is deemed that it is a health and safety issue.

    Like Eileen, I believe that the disclosure of mental health problems on the CRB is clearly in breach of a person’s human right to a private life – why are mental health issues disclosed on a CRB, not physical issues? Furthermore, the CRB says that its disclosure does not discriminate – however I would argue that by allowing this information to be disclosed automatically discriminates against people with mental health problems. I read a statistic not so long ago, that 30% of employers would not employ someone with a criminal record, yet 70% of employers would not employ someone with known mental health problems.

    When I have contacted the mental health charities about this issue (mind, rethink and time to change) they have all said they have heard of this problem but they have no campaigns against it. I felt that is was just being ignored by them, yet in my case and probably in the case of many others, my CRB is the BIGGEST factor in me not being able to return to work. I do not understand why the charities are not fighting this.

    On top of this I read the recent review on the CRB by Sunita Mason. At no point in this review has mental health been highlighted, merely examples of criminal activity that might be reconsidered as irrelevant. 

    Having a mental health problem does not increase a person’s risk of commiting a crime against a vunerable adult or child. And that is what the relevant information section is supposed to inform the employer of. Furthermore, a Police Officer is not qualified to make this decision. The risk of a mental health problem should be determined by a Consultant Psychiatrist, not the Chief of Police! On top of this almost all organisations have an Occupational Health Department – who one must declare their medical history to by law. In my case the CRB directly took the decision away from my Consultant Psychiatrist, who supported me in my job and studies, and into the hands of medically unqualified managers.

    The CRB system is disgraceful and needs overhauling (I will just quickly mention here that it took 9 months for my CRB to even be returned!). When will the government sort this mess and blatent breach of human rights out?

    Al

  • Al

    Eileen – try looking at the web blog – CRBforums (not sure on the address) but its a chat group that contains people who all have had problems with their CRB’s from false accusations through to mental health. There have been some successful law suits and there is info on lawyers who are specialists in Judicial Law. If you are in receipt of benefits you will qualify for legal aid. 

    Also – if you are on facebook – there is a group on there which would like the enhanced CRB to be abolished – and argues that if it is not a crime, or if the accused was aquitted and innocent it should not be on a CRB. There is also a petition starting to try and remove this part of the CRB disclosure on this site. Sadly I am not good with computers and don’t know how to put the link here – although I will try.

    With the recent horrific cases in the news regarding nursery workers and carers in homes for people with learning difficulties, it is clear that the enhanced CRB doesn’t make a difference regarding protecting children and vulnerable adults. Also the CRB states it is about the risk of an individual commiting a ‘crime’ against the child or vulnerable adult. Having a mental health problem does not increase this risk. The police will argue that you may cause harm through distraction. The point is, distraction is not a crime, and anybody can be distracted – not just those with mental illness.

    I would also urge you to write to your MP, showing them a copy of your CRB and the effect this has had on your employability and your right to a private life (ie. medical confidentiality). My MP was shocked that such information should show up on a CRB – ironic, considering the enhanced CRB was brought in under a labour government, yet the MPs themselves don’t realise the real impact on the average person’s life of their policies.

    My MP has been very good about it and has written to Ken Clarke now a couple of times. 

    People should be allowed to recover from a mental illness in the same way as they are allowed to recover from a physical illness, without their entire lives then becoming ruined due to it – which in turn, no doubt increases mental health problems.

    I would really like to see this issue taken up by the media, and my hat is off to you for being so open about your problems. I think the general public would be shocked and appalled at what information goes on the enhanced CRB. As soon as there is any mention of changing the CRB system the media jumps on the bandwagon about the danger to our children. But the general public (myself included until last year) do not realise the extent of the ECRB. Everyone who I have spoken to regarding my situation has been horrified that mental health issues are declared on CRB’s where no crime is committed. I think its about time this became public knowledge and well done for putting it out there.

  • Al

    Eileen – try looking at the web blog – CRBforums (not sure on the address) but its a chat group that contains people who all have had problems with their CRB’s from false accusations through to mental health. There have been some successful law suits and there is info on lawyers who are specialists in Judicial Law. If you are in receipt of benefits you will qualify for legal aid. 

    Also – if you are on facebook – there is a group on there which would like the enhanced CRB to be abolished – and argues that if it is not a crime, or if the accused was aquitted and innocent it should not be on a CRB. There is also a petition starting to try and remove this part of the CRB disclosure on this site. Sadly I am not good with computers and don’t know how to put the link here – although I will try.

    With the recent horrific cases in the news regarding nursery workers and carers in homes for people with learning difficulties, it is clear that the enhanced CRB doesn’t make a difference regarding protecting children and vulnerable adults. Also the CRB states it is about the risk of an individual commiting a ‘crime’ against the child or vulnerable adult. Having a mental health problem does not increase this risk. The police will argue that you may cause harm through distraction. The point is, distraction is not a crime, and anybody can be distracted – not just those with mental illness.

    I would also urge you to write to your MP, showing them a copy of your CRB and the effect this has had on your employability and your right to a private life (ie. medical confidentiality). My MP was shocked that such information should show up on a CRB – ironic, considering the enhanced CRB was brought in under a labour government, yet the MPs themselves don’t realise the real impact on the average person’s life of their policies.

    My MP has been very good about it and has written to Ken Clarke now a couple of times. 

    People should be allowed to recover from a mental illness in the same way as they are allowed to recover from a physical illness, without their entire lives then becoming ruined due to it – which in turn, no doubt increases mental health problems.

    I would really like to see this issue taken up by the media, and my hat is off to you for being so open about your problems. I think the general public would be shocked and appalled at what information goes on the enhanced CRB. As soon as there is any mention of changing the CRB system the media jumps on the bandwagon about the danger to our children. But the general public (myself included until last year) do not realise the extent of the ECRB. Everyone who I have spoken to regarding my situation has been horrified that mental health issues are declared on CRB’s where no crime is committed. I think its about time this became public knowledge and well done for putting it out there.

  • Al

    I think this should link you through to the petition. Once signed it needs to be verified (an email will go to your account – mine went into my junk mail, so just be sure to check if you do decide to sign it).

    ABOLISH THE SOFT INFORMATION SECTION OF THE ECRB DISCLOSURE – Petition Online - www.petitiononline.co.uk
    Although the reason for this petition is slightly different (people being punished for false accusations etc.) the overall aim is the same – if its not a crime it shouldn’t be on a CRB. 

  • Al

    I think this should link you through to the petition. Once signed it needs to be verified (an email will go to your account – mine went into my junk mail, so just be sure to check if you do decide to sign it).

    ABOLISH THE SOFT INFORMATION SECTION OF THE ECRB DISCLOSURE – Petition Online - www.petitiononline.co.uk
    Although the reason for this petition is slightly different (people being punished for false accusations etc.) the overall aim is the same – if its not a crime it shouldn’t be on a CRB. 

  • Eileen

    Thank you Lynn for sharing your case with the whole world!

    I wish you all the best with your tribunal.

    It seems the reason the mental health charities are NOt taking this on is unclear. When I contacted National Mind ( the local Mind had supported me in my orginal dispute) they said they could not use mine as a test case, because there are too many complaints related to ECRB’s.

    One would think this is all the more reason to follow it up.

    I will contact the Community Legal Service asap and see if they can help.

  • Eileen

    Thank you Lynn for sharing your case with the whole world!

    I wish you all the best with your tribunal.

    It seems the reason the mental health charities are NOt taking this on is unclear. When I contacted National Mind ( the local Mind had supported me in my orginal dispute) they said they could not use mine as a test case, because there are too many complaints related to ECRB’s.

    One would think this is all the more reason to follow it up.

    I will contact the Community Legal Service asap and see if they can help.

  • Jake

    So utterly naive………..

    The CRB agency not only turn a blind eye, but actively encourage the ILLEGAL use of CRB checks where they aren’t required, or even legally allowed.  An example?  A Council I used to work for required an Enhanced (!!!!) CRB check for Business Analyst posts!  Shocking. 

    CRBs have destroyed far more lives than they have protected; they are meaningless and worthless the way they are currently used.  If you have anything but a clean CRB at present you stand no chance of getting a job for as long as the “ooh, we’ll cover our backsides by requiring a CRB check even though it isn’t needed” mentality continues……..

  • Jake

    So utterly naive………..

    The CRB agency not only turn a blind eye, but actively encourage the ILLEGAL use of CRB checks where they aren’t required, or even legally allowed.  An example?  A Council I used to work for required an Enhanced (!!!!) CRB check for Business Analyst posts!  Shocking. 

    CRBs have destroyed far more lives than they have protected; they are meaningless and worthless the way they are currently used.  If you have anything but a clean CRB at present you stand no chance of getting a job for as long as the “ooh, we’ll cover our backsides by requiring a CRB check even though it isn’t needed” mentality continues……..

  • moikoi

    this is really painful. mental illness does not equate crime. people with mental illness are unfortunately treated as if they called for it. please the government should do something about this. it is really dreadful. my story is a really dreadful one. i suffer bipolar disorder and had a breakdown and was detained. The police listed all my manic symptoms on my ecrb. It was a really shameful crb to readas i did some embarassing things. I tried many times to tell them to amend it to look a little bit decent but they wouldnt. At the end they said i wasnt charged of any offence. I can vividly remember the way they beat me up like a criminal as if i was aware of my acts. When i recall the way the police treated me , i shed tears. There should be an end to all this. I hope stephen fry who is now the President of MIND can voice our opinions to this present government. He also suffers bipolar disorder.

  • Rosey99x

    Thank you for highlighting this not widely known problem. I only found out about this a few months ago. My daughter works in a care home for elderly dementia sufferers. She has regular CRB checks. She has recently been on maternity leave. During this time she was suffering from severe headaches and went to the gp. He diagnosed post natal depression and prescribed antidepressants. She had no low mood and was over the moon to have her baby. She didnt take the pills and saw a different gp who after taking tests found she had a problem with her eye sight, not depression. Her husband suffers from episodes of depression so she knew she didnt have it. She was astonished to read her CRB check results. It said she suffered severe post natal depression for 7 months and was currently taking antidepressants so is obviously not very stable. She never took the first prescription which was 2 weeks worth of pills and had never had 7 months of prescriptions. Even more worrying it mentioned that her husband suffered depression so she may not be reliable with attendance for a job if she looks after him. This country has really become big brother is watching you. Its just a shame they dont get their facts correct before they destroy peoples lives. Luckily she has worked there for 6 years and her bosses knew her well and even laughed at the CRB comments. But if that had been an application for a new job I doubt if they would have offered it to her.

  • Margaret Smyrnye

    Hi Eileen, my name is Maggie, I think it is very wrong what the Devon police have done.  I had faith and espect in the police before I was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder 4 years ago.  I am 38 years old.  I first became unwell with acute transient psycotic disorder, it was the first time I had any dealings with the police, I went to my GP, various A&E departments with no joy.  It was not until I was sectioned that the health professional’s knew there was something wrong and then diagnosed me with Bi-polar.  I can’t remember how many times I was thrown in a cell for public order.  It was horrendous.  I was studying for my NVQ Level 2 Teaching assistant qualification, I passed, but with all the cautions I had on my CRB I can’t work with children anymore.  I was working at my daughter’s primary school before I became unwell, voluntary and I absolutley loved working with the teacher and children, so when I found out by the headteacher I no longer could work with them when I was well, I was devastated.  I couldn’t work with the youth group anymore all because of what happened when I was unwell.  If all the health professional’s and police listened to me and my family in the first place, telling them that I was mentally unwell, none of the cautions would be on my CRB.
    I have to say the police have to have more training with noticing people who are suffering with a mental illness, instead of banging inocent people up, then are left with scarring.  Anyway, my story could go on forever, whoever reads this try and not judge because it is easily done.  I have to say that the last 4-5 years have been so hard dealing with the illness is bad enough but all the baggage what comes with it is heartbreaking.  Today I am OK, thank God, I have to think I have got through it, and I have to be proud of that.  But it is hard to move on and get a job you love doing all because no-one listened right at the beginning! it is wrong. 

    Thinking of you,
    Mags

  • Zader

    My daughter has had her career destroyed because she complained about the conduct of a police officer. The officer was disciplined and then his friends started their campaign of harrasment. The pinnacle of which was the accusation that my daughter was driving around with blue lights fitted to her car. She didn’t, she had decorative internal LEDS, switched off on private land. Thames Valley Stasi put this on her enhanced CRB and she lost her place on parmedic degree course on which she was the best student. See our campaign on http://www.thedaftsite.com title “Clean up Thames Valley Stasi”

  • Finola

    Unfortunately, this does happen, more than people realise. The police more often than not think that if they know / think you suffer from bad mental health, that it’s ‘relevant’ so they disclose it in enhanced CRB disclosures. Usually it’s when someones detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act, regardless of the outcome of the assessment, but sometimes it can be for something as simple as turning up at the scene of an attempted overdose with paramedics.

    I do understand that the safeguarding of the vulnerable is very important and there are unfortunately some mental disorders that can make a person violent if not stabilised or not controlled, but surely this is for Occupational Health etc. to decide, and not non-medical bodies such as the police? An enhanced check from CRB should only reveal criminal record related data such as convictions and cautions and fines and relevant on-going investigations, if applicable.

    The system really needs an overhaul.

  • Eileen

    I have taken this up with Charles Walker MP, APPG on mental health, he has passed my complaint to Lynne Featherstone in the Home Office who has basically informed me of the review etc. I have since enquires how I can get access to my police notes as I feel this maybe helpful to see what has been written about me.Will def look at petition, been busy applying for jobs ( in mental health) sorry for late reply.eileen

  • Eileen

    Hi, yes I agree but if you read Margaret’s comment you will see that she does have some cautions etc because she was undiagnosed Bi-Polar.

    If you read her blog, her life too has been blighted by misunderstanding and ignorance. No-one expects the police to be experts in mental health but some basic level of awareness and signs/symtoms would go a long way in mentally unwell people being treated with care/consideration rather than as criminals. We make a huge effort to recover and pick up the threads of our lives, many have sucessful careers and paths we wish to persure but sadly, we often come to a griding halt because of these discrinatory practices.eileen

  • Eileen

    My god, I thought I was beyond being shocked but I have to say, your’s is the most shocking, just as well she had been in post for six years. If she went to a new employer, which she may at some point, she would have to explain her past medical history which is now illegal (I believe, under the Equality Act 2010). If I was your daughter, I would dispute this as inaccurate. I believe she might actually win and get these statments removed as they factually incorrect. Maybe easier than mine which is about what the police deem relevant.Good luck! Eileen
    P.S I think Alistair Campbell would be interested in this too.

  • Fiona McLaren

    I came across this site as I am distraught about what having a so-called mental health record has done to my life and looking for a bit of consolation.  Nothing however could have prepared me for the shock of reading this and seeing it’s even worse than I thought it was. 

    Eileen, Rosey99x’s daughter – I can’t put into words what I feel on hearing about the injustices suffered but I thank you for posting.

    I got a psychiatric history 36 years ago when I was a teenager – it has destroyed my future and poisoned all aspects of my life and followed me everywhere.  It says ‘intolerant and obcessive personality disorder’, ‘psychopathic personality’ which is awful as you can imagine but there are umpteen other diagnoses.  There are hardly any facts in the notes which is basically gossip, rumour and allegation.  I have never been arrested, cautioned or charged.  Twice I was detained under the 1959 MHA – both times illegally and it was not justified.  The second time, I was home on weekend leave, I got beaten up (a routine occurrence) and a malicious relative set in motion the detention process with a second malicious relative saying I’d threatened someone with a knife.  A lie that was later withdrawn in writing a couple of days later.  The detention is not expunged from my records.  Police not involved at all as they generally weren’t then as they routinely are now.

    In reality I was abused as a child but psychiatry would not believe and accepted the lies my family told.  They, who really are a danger to children, have got away with it, can pass CRBs and other checks but I cannot.  I wanted to be a teacher and I was very academic but my psychiatric history shattered that.  I have got by in other jobs, telling lies and living in fear of being found out.  If a person with a psychiatric history, even one 50 years old, applys for a driving licence they still have to declare a psychiatric history.

    I agree with much of what is said here – but not those who claim CRBs are protecting children and I know what it is like to be an abused child (violence, sexual abuse, mental cruelty) and would support proper checks.

    The other issue is, nobody has mentioned the responsibility of mental health  professionals in this – they can’t just shrug of their part in this.  They are fully aware that when they write in medical notes this will have a devastating affect on the person’s life.  Sometimes people are driven to suicide because their hopes, dreams and ambitions have been taken from them.

    My psychiatric record doesn’t exist as it’s over 20 years since I had any appointment but the GP records exist.  I accessed mine in 2008 and am reeling in shock from them.  The worst were those workers who led me to believe they accepted me as truthful but then have written that I am a liar.  There are comments about my attractiveness or lack of it, that I slammed a door, was probably an indulged child (!), wanted to control my family and that I am permanently unemployable. 

    I think I’ve come to the end of what I can bear of this; over 3 decades of it.  The injustice of it; being treated like a criminal.  I’ve been stopped from studying on a secretarial course; from volunteering, forced to lie and live like a criminal.  When I was the victim of criminals. 

    This is the price I have paid for asking for help.  I blame psychiatry itself, not the police or employers. 
     
     

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ADETC32BM2CY7275LAXWQEYS7U John Dalglish

    Third attempt at posting.

    I got a psychiatric record in 1975 which has destroyed my future. The psychiatric hospital notes don’t exist as I’ve had no contact for over 20 years but the GP notes do. 

    I agree with what others are saying but put the blame on psychiatry and social services who are fully aware that they are ruining someone’s future by writing in records. 
     

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fiona-McLaren/1187824875 Fiona McLaren

     
     Been trying to post for ages so excuse any duplications.

    I came here trying to find some consolation for feeling distraught at what a so-called psychiatric history has done to me.  But I am shocked yet again at the experiences of Eileen, Rosey99x’s daughter etc.
    Thirty six years ago I acquired a psychiatric label – it has poisoned every aspect of my life and destroyed my future. I was treated cruelly by staff in the mental health system and had was blamed for all problems in my family.  Two detentions under the then MHA, both of which were unjustified and not carried out legally - not involving police as they routinely didn’t then. My psychiatric file has gone as I have had no contact with psychiatry for over 20 years.  I accessed my GP notes in 2008. It says I have an ‘intolerant and obcessive personality disorder’, a ‘psychopathic personality’, am permanently unemployable (despite never being given sickness benefits) am violent and about a dozen other ‘diagnoses’. 
    I have not been arrested, cautioned or charged with any crime.  I was actually the victim of serious crimes of incest, violence, neglect and mental cruelty in my family.  Notes on file say I made up or exaggerated abuse. There is not one mention of what went on in my family. 
    I have passed Enhanced CRBs but my ambition of being a teacher was ruined when I was 18; if I apply for a driving licence my psychiatric history will have to be disclosed; I’ve been refused a place on a crummy secretarial course; voluntary jobs; can’t serve on a jury and have no hope of any responsible, fulfilling work.  I lie to get jobs and live in fear of being caught out.
    Psychiatry and social services are to blame for this though I appreciate that the police are disclosing information but they are not the ones responsible for compiling the notes.  Psychiatrists, social workers and psychiatric nurses know exactly what they are doing when they write allegations and unproven accusations, consigning people to the scrapheap.
    It is right that information, often incorrect, written 40/50 years ago is being used against law abiding citizens?
    I have survived everything in my childhood for nothing. 

     

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ADETC32BM2CY7275LAXWQEYS7U John Dalglish

    Been trying to reply for ages.

    Shocked by the stories here, especially Eileen and Rosey99x’s daughter’s story.  But it is the doctors and social workers who write this stuff, in the full knowledge it destroys people’s futures.  Even in the days before CRBs having a so-called psychiatric history barred a person from certain jobs, courses, getting insurance cover, serving on a jury and some visas.   
     

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ADETC32BM2CY7275LAXWQEYS7U John Dalglish

     
     I came here trying to find some consolation for feeling distraught at what a so-called psychiatric history has done to me.  But I am shocked yet again at the experiences of Eileen, Rosey99x’s daughter etc.
    Thirty six years ago I acquired a psychiatric label – it has poisoned every aspect of my life and destroyed my future. I was treated cruelly by staff in the mental health system and was blamed for all problems in my family.  Two detentions under the then MHA, both of which were unjustified and not carried out legally – not involving police as they routinely didn’t then. My psychiatric file has gone as I have had no contact with psychiatry for over 20 years.  I accessed my GP notes in 2008. It says I have an ‘intolerant and obcessive personality disorder’, a ‘psychopathic personality’, am permanently unemployable (despite never being given sickness benefits) am violent and about a dozen other ‘diagnoses’. 
    I have not been arrested, cautioned or charged with any crime.  I was actually the victim of serious crimes of incest, violence, neglect and mental cruelty in my family.  Notes on file say I made up or exaggerated abuse. There is not one mention of what went on in my family. 
    I have passed Enhanced CRBs but my ambition of being a teacher was ruined when I was 18; if I apply for a driving licence my psychiatric history will have to be disclosed; I’ve been refused a place on a crummy secretarial course; voluntary jobs; can’t serve on a jury and have no hope of any responsible, fulfilling work.  I lie to get jobs and live in fear of being caught out.  I am terrified of going into the psychiatric system again.
    I agree with much on here but it is psychiatrists and social workers who write the notes that shatter peoples’ future.  Even before CRBs a psychiatric history prevented a person getting many decent jobs and a place on courses etc. 
     

  • Anna

    I came across this as am researching how to go about contesting my CRB check. Firstly I am so sorry to see that others are in a similar position to me. Secondly I am horrified by one or two people’s opinions regarding this issue. Completely the kind of people we don’t need in our lives and I imagine never having suffered severe mental distress thenselves. “There but for the grace of God…” and all that.
    I have been detained many times, been actively suicidal, self harming, dissociated, it goes on. I have two allegations of assault whilst detained on my CRB along with other things. ALLEGATIONS being the key word here so why are they there? I blame the hospital for that as they obviously reported it to the police but I blame the police for putting it on. Anyone can allege anything about anyone should they wish! Much to perhaps the displeasure of the above mentioned people who feel they can be so derogatory about these things, I am fairly senior in one of the voluntary emergency services, you never know it could be me saving your life one day, will I discriminate or judge you for getting into that situation, of course not! I also work very closly with young people and vulnerable adults thanks to some understanding employers who definalty are moving with the times. The reason I’m contesting my CRB is not all are as understanding. Police are there to police and not to comment on health matters in which they have very little training. If they are concerned should they not employ someone who does know to make an assessment first before disclosing it? From what I have read it seems perhaps some forces are better than others in what they choose to disclose. As for the recovering being vulnerable, yes we are but vulnerable to what? Suddenly committing crimes against children etc? Vulnerable to the narrow minded prejudice we face on a regular basis.  
    @twitter-18490611:disqus 

  • Crbforums

    Hi Eileen,

    Your story has been highlighted to me by a member of crbforums.com join the site you are not alone, the site is free and offers support and can signpost you to some free initial legal advice.

    Best wishes

    C

  • Crbforums

    Hi Eileen,

    Your story has been highlighted to me by a member of crbforums.com join the site you are not alone, the site is free and offers support and can signpost you to some free initial legal advice.

    Best wishes

    C

  • Lora Reid

    Hi Elaine, I was really saddened to read your story although not at all surprised. Has anyone on the Abolish The Enhanced CRB group on Facebook put u in touch with the solicitor who is taking on these cases? If not let me know and I will dig out the details for u Lora

  • Al

    Well, thanks to my CRB I have now lost my full medical career. Yet the same week baby P’s killer serves just under 2 years. Justice in this country is a joke.

    The university nicely made the decision before the Occupational Health assessment – one 136 and 10 years if work wasted. Even though my consultant and GP think I am no risk in the clinical environment.

    Even if my lawyer has the information removed I will never be able to return to the career I have allways wanted to do. The enhanced CRB is a disgrace.

  • Fiona McLaren

    Al – I am so sorry to hear you have lost your medical career.  It is so unfair especially as your consultant and GP support you. 

    To have this used against you for the rest of your life is against all concepts of justice.  Those of us with psychiatric histories, even if they are dodgy ones that we dispute, can never reach our full potential and are left frustrated.  We could get a double first from Cambridge, succeed in everything we undertake but a CRB can destroy it all.

    I worked hard to get qualifications after time in mental institutions but it has been a waste of time as I am barred forever from decent jobs.  I am presently trying to add a note to my medical records regarding an alleged assault that is on record in a letter.

    It does seem wrong Al that even if the information is removed you still cannot continue with your medical career.  I wish I could say something of comfort or consolation to you. 

  • Fiona McLaren

    Eileen – you mention ‘ in a test case, actually overruled the complainant in the police’s favour.’ can you provide a link to this as I can’t find it anywhere.

    I admire your courage in speaking out and am horrified at what’s happened to you and others.

  • https://www.intelifi.com/ intelifi.com

    Yes it can be very intrusive for a lot of people.

  • http://www.infinityage.com/hgh-therapy.aspx HGH Hormone

    its totally not to understand ..any health problem and you did your part well to get things right…….now its only the piece of paper which ruins everything..i know its hard to go through….just want to say dont lose your patience, consider it a small hurdle in your life.

    Adriana

  • Sal guest

    I do have criminal convictions one is for failure to provide a specimen for analysis.  My ex, the father of my child Jake (not his real name) who I had split up from since moving back without him from Germany then moved into the same street as me and used to watch me all the time.  If ever I had visitors he called the police and tried to get me done for drinking in care of a child.  He was fanatical and obssessive and dangerous.  He called the police on me one night and they came and asked me to take a breathaliser.  Having not been long back in the UK and had a baby I was not very in touch with the ways of the law and thought it was my right to refuse.  Anyway I was loading the car with things to go away the next day and not going to drive it and I hadn’t been drinking!  I thought it was ridiculous.  But they did me and I went to court and its on my record.  He terrorised me with the police – they came round to say I was rascist because he told themI’d called him a nazi – actually what I done is written in front of the word list Schindler’sList but the police still claimed that I was being racist.  They always believed him and took his side – then there was the time I was done for drunk and disorderly when he didn’t turn up to pick up Jake as arranged and I went to a party taking Jake but actually dropped him off on the way to be looked after and didn’t take him to the party.  He called the police to the party address saying I was in charge of a minor, which I wasn’t but they did me anyway for being drunk and disorderly.  He then started taking me to court – even though I’d encouraged him to see Jake as often as he liked but he used to refuse saying he wasn’t going to be my babysitter.  In the middle of this both my parents died within a few weeks of eachother.  He lied and lied and everyone believed him and seemed to be at his beck and call.  I was called all the names under the sun.  I was realising as well that I’d actually been suffering from PND but was so scared and terrified by everything that was going on the horror of the police and social services and courts and this man trying to maliciously do me and incidentally his own son as much damage as possible.

    In the end when Jake was 11 he ran away from him.  Iknew that he’d been angry and agressive with Jake a few times because his current girlfriend told me and he’d smashed a phone when I wanted to speak to Jake.  I went to court because otherwise he would have got the police round every friday to enforce the court order.  They still came round anyway.  After nearly 2 years and numerous court appearances and cafcass questioning Jake was made free of all court orders.  Finally I was rid of this man (I got a final glowing report as a mother from the Cafcass Officer he was cited as getting drunk and throwing furniture around when Jake was there and being violent and agressive.)  

    Guess what?  Not long after the final court hearing, I was stopped early in the morning on my way to my new course and breathalised.  I was over the limit!  Just a bit.  Done again.  Massive fine (more than George Michael) and the previous ban for not taking the breathaliser still had a few months to run. Lost licence and ordered go on rehabilitation drink-drive course.  Learnt there from expert tutor that in 1st case with the breathaliser I should have protested against the police within a period of time something like 14 days and that this man had never in his long experience come across someone who had been done by the roadside  not in or driving the car (although there is aby-law – it is rarely used).  I also learnt that if I’d agreed to a blood test the last time it was very likely that I’d have been under the limit – actually he could calculate that if had taken the doctor some time to come I would definitely have been.  But I was not told this.

    It is now another 2 years or so down the line and Iam unable to get work which is teaching and cant even go on a further course which needs a teaching placement due to crb (obviously erb).  A year ago I completed a course called “Undoing the damage of domestic abuse” as there is no doubt that he was emotionally and psychologically abusing me.  Iam no longer afraid of him and Jake sees him occasionally but most importantly goes to Germany to see the rest of the extended german family most of whom, especially his grandmother and uncle he likes.  So emotionally I put it all behind me to help Jake still have a relationship with his father and that side of the family.

    Do you think that its justice now that I can’t work and do what Iam really good at due to the erb.  I got offered a voluntary placement to do a course but Newcastle City Council (who only got the crb dont know my qualifications or work history) just held on to it and never gave the go ahead for the placement which was supposed to start last Monday.  There is just total silence.  It is now too late for me to apply for other placements or courses.

    Can anyone advise me if there’s anything I can do.  Can I ask for feedback?  Are these offences related to me being perceived as a danger to vulnerable people?  I think I am the vulnerable one actually.  The thing is I was totally recovered from the years of abuse but not being able to work in my chosen field feels like the worst thing.  Looking back I think that was his intention all along………..he was always so jealous of my success in Germany……………………..

    He has just got a promotion.    

  • Eileen

    Hi and thank you to everyone who has posted a comment. I thought I would update those people who  maybe interested. After a year I have finally found a solicitor who is willing to take my case on. He agrees that it is part of a wider issue involving discrimination under the Equality Act  and a breach of section 8 of the Human Rights Act-a right to privacy and family life. The solicitor has now written to Devon & Cornwall Police for their reason’s why they put the offending statement on. Hopefully, this wil be enough for them to back down and retract their statement which will mean I can get on with my life and do paid work in  mental health in which I have been training for over two years. To everyone out there who has had similar difficulties, my thoughts go out to you and if you would like details of the lawyer I will happily pass them on-will check with them first to prior warn them. There is a review going on in parliament at present which does propose some positive changes to these often draconian measures. If you go onto the home office website, under publications/criminal records review, you will see the proposed changes. Eileen

  • Eileen

    Hi, as I wrote a few weeks ago, I have now found a solicitor who is challenging the statement-I am Eileen O’Hara. If you want the name of the solicitor, give me your email address and I will send you the details.

    Good luck!

  • Eileen

    It is appalling, we all need to really challenge these discrimantory statements that wreak havov with out lives. I found Charles Walker MP head the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health very supportive and he passed on my case to Lynne Featherstone in the Home Office. The more people write to Mr Walker and their local Mp’s, the more government will see that something has to change, especially as they are trying to get everyone off benefit and into work.

  • Finola

    I know this is a four-month old post but I just happened to stumble upon this article again. I have to admit, the police do have the right to provide details about cautions/convictions, that’s the whole point in a CRB check afterall and they will continue to do so as long as its required by legislation. As for how the police should deal with someone with mental illness, that’s another debate altogether.

    Not that I am unsympathetic to Margaret, but I am particularly concerned about arbitrary “relevant” information being included on CRB checks which can be incriminating and for which there is *no* appeals/defence or ways to fight your own corner from. You are at the complete mercy of whatever chief police officer happens to hold such sensitive information about you. The fact they can make judgments about ones mental health with no input from a MH professional whatsoever required is a clear example of this and is discrinatory. With convictions/cautions/fines, at least there is opportunity to contest these. You can say NO to a caution or fixed penalty notice, in fact many solicitors advise this as it’s nothing more than a cheap and quick way of getting you a conviction which is good for police clear-up rates, you can have your day in court, but there is no defence/appeal system with police “intelligence”.

    I was arrested on a s.136 by the police when I was 17 and I was also classified as a “high risk” missing person a few months back and whilst I have not yet had an enhanced CRB I am well aware that such details may well appear on a check. A good friend of mine had a MHA section from when he was about 15 turn up on his enhanced CRB, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence on the internet about this kind of thing, too. The horrible truth is, there is little you can do about it. The public back enhanced CRBs because they are told they are efficient at keeping the pedos and granny beaters away. We just have to hope that the process becomes more open to contest and less arbitrary, the current government had “plans” about changing the CRB system to be less draconian, but as usual, nothing was done. That’s politicians for you.

  • http://www.defibrion.nl/ defibrillator

    There are so many people all over the world who suffering
    with mental illnesses. Some do have it already in born and some had been
    developed because of so many problem that they could not handle anymore. These
    people really need special attention on their health needs.

  • Pamboyson

    Hi
        I have just recieved a letter from the police stating that they will be disclosing my periods of self harm on my CRB check.I was bullied  by a previous employer,lied to and had every accusation denied(though I had evidence).They were aware i was depressed and yet put me in sutuations which were both unfair and dishonest for example making me attend a meeting but forgetting to inform me I would be on my own and there would be two managers present.I fought this for a long time befroe seeking a compromise agrrement through my solicitor.I became very depressed and suicidal.Very recently I have tried to get my life back and applied to Ofsted to reregister as a childminder/nanny which then led to the police letter.I have worked with children for 18 years and was graded outstanding in 2009.I contacted safeguarding childrens board for advice and her reaction was veru much that if the police felt i was unfit then I must be stating that people change.I have always been known for the work that I have done with children but will now not be able to .Everyone that knows me tells me they would trust me with their children but the police are able to permanantly mark me as being a risk.Despite this i have looked after my own children without any suggestion they were at risk in my care in fact I liased with the school as I wanted to make sure they were okay and the Head stated she would employ me if a position came up.Where do I go from here.I just dont knmow.I am heartbroken as it never was just a job it was my passion and its all gone

  • Pamboyson

    Hi
        I have just recieved a letter from the police stating that they will be disclosing my periods of self harm on my CRB check.I was bullied  by a previous employer,lied to and had every accusation denied(though I had evidence).They were aware i was depressed and yet put me in sutuations which were both unfair and dishonest for example making me attend a meeting but forgetting to inform me I would be on my own and there would be two managers present.I fought this for a long time befroe seeking a compromise agrrement through my solicitor.I became very depressed and suicidal.Very recently I have tried to get my life back and applied to Ofsted to reregister as a childminder/nanny which then led to the police letter.I have worked with children for 18 years and was graded outstanding in 2009.I contacted safeguarding childrens board for advice and her reaction was veru much that if the police felt i was unfit then I must be stating that people change.I have always been known for the work that I have done with children but will now not be able to .Everyone that knows me tells me they would trust me with their children but the police are able to permanantly mark me as being a risk.Despite this i have looked after my own children without any suggestion they were at risk in my care in fact I liased with the school as I wanted to make sure they were okay and the Head stated she would employ me if a position came up.Where do I go from here.I just dont knmow.I am heartbroken as it never was just a job it was my passion and its all gone

  • Misssparkle

    I had a similar situation and I appealed against it ton the CRB, info regarding my mental health was taken off my crb.

  • Eohara72

    Just to say that on Friday April 27th I received a CLEAR CRB!

    I realise this issue has been contentious but with the support of local mental health charity RBUF ( Rochdale Borough-wide user forum) Alistair Campbell, Rochdale Mind’s Advocacy service and a good lawyer, I have won my case. It’s a shame it has taken so long as I have been unable to work in mental health for a whole year!

    Nevertheless I felt completely jusified in fighting my corner but I also learnt that in order to do  this it helps to have key people on your side.

    Many thanks to all who have contributed to this blog and to anyone who is still dealing with this issue, I would encourage them to keep on fighting. It’s not just about money, it’s about reputation, something you cannot put a price on.

    Eileen O’Hara

  • Gilliebc

    Well done Eileen.  I’m very pleased for you.  Since you first posted I had on occasion wondered how you were getting on.  This is very good news.

  • Eohara72

    Thank you

  • Pamboyson

    I have been mentally ill as a direct result of bullying from a previous employer.Since then I have had periods of extreme self harm and many suicide attempts mainly due to the lack of support from my primary trust.who felt that i should  do voluntary work even though financially i needed to return to work and from a self worth point of view was keen to prove myself in my chosen profession..I have always worked with Early years children and wished to go back to this.The consultant sent a letter to the police to state i wasnt a risk to children or vulnerable adults and i have to say that Lincs police were excellent at supporting my enhanced CRB.despite this though Ofsted based their decision not to register me on their own prewritten questions to my consultant and the answers that my consultant gave to these questions.They chose to ignore the fact that my consultant had stated i wasnt a risk and at no time suggested that I visit their own medical advisors..I did not need ofsted registration as I already had a nanny position in place but felt I deserved this after having worked with children for 16 years and having achieved an outstanding Ofsted grade in 2009.My own self harming episodes have no link to my ability to care for children and in fact I cared for a little girl very successfully a few weeks ago.Ofsted advised me to withdraw my application stating that they felt I only wanted to work with children in order to make myself feel better.A sweeping statement considering it had been my long term career.It is assumed that as i have self harmed that I am not mentally capable of caring for children when in fact it has been the continuing discrimination of professionals in trying to stop me from returning to a career which i have always been held in high regard which has led to these episodes of self harm as it has left me feeling worthless.Currently I have withdrawn my application and have sought advice from the human rights commision in regards to disability discrimination.I am in the process with support from MIND in writing a letter of complaint to Ofsted.Suffering from a mental illness is bad enough witthout the prejudices of others.I have lost friends,feel like a lepor in my little village and constantly ignore negative comments in relation to my ill health.The police can be anything from outstanding to absolutely appalling.At times I could scream that all i need when I am desperate is someone to listen to me when in fact what I get told more often than not is that you have support(even though this so could support are of no help)so go home.
    We need to help people to understand mental illness and to treat people with the dignity and reserve.

  • Coricurry

    Eileen I would like to discuss this CRB business with you. I was once sectioned but have no mental illness, this will affect me badly when I apply again as I was a teacher. I think that Devon and Cornwall have been taken to task on trumping up info on individuals files. I am certainly going to challenge them in a big way.The police in this county are well known for intimidating people.

  • Emmagoldsmith11

    I also have had a CRB were police have put a very discriminating information on me. They put dates, how many times thay have my premises and detailed on my mental health problems. This has put a full stop to any volunteer work i wish to do. Suprisingly it was the police that said i should do volunteer work!!! I feel that someone has a real bee in there bonnet about coming out to me.