Editor's comment: Queen's should be able to trust contractors are doing their job.
PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:05 16 December 2018
The discovery that a man who had been jailed for using his position as a police officer to prey on vulnerable women could have been allowed to work at Queen's hospital without a compulsory background check is worrying both for staff and patients.
Kabeer Yousaf was sent to prison in 2015 for blackmailing prostitutes in Newham.
In one case he had sex with a woman at a brothel and then demanded £2,000. In another case he demanded £500 a fortnight to stop a brothel being shut down.
When he got out of prison he got a job with Sodexo, a company contracted by Queen’s Hospital, Romford. He did not disclose his criminal record and Sodexo did not do a DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service – check, which should have been compulsory to find out if he was safe to work with vulnerable people.
Understandably when fellow staff members found out about his background they felt uneasy.
While there is no suggestion that Yousaf did anything wrong while working at Queen’s – apart from not disclosing his criminal record to his employer – the incident raises questions about Sodexo.
What if he had been a killer or a child abuser?
Patients in hospital are often very vulnerable.
Sodexo blames it on “an administrative oversight”.
Let’s hope the company learns the lesson immediately and is much more stringent in checking the backgrounds of future employees.
We should all have learned the lesson from the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal which broke almost six years ago and which revealed he had used his position to assault patients in NHS hospitals.
Queen’s Hospital has enough to deal with – it should be able to trust that its contractors are doing their job.