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Does the NHS drug test new employees?
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2 Posts

Posted:  08-May-2012 23:12
My friend has been accepted for an NHS (band 2) job she has been after for a long time. The only thing left is for her is a health check this week which includes taking a blood sample for Hep B testing.

The problem is, we have just come back from a trip to Amsterdam, and we did all the usual touristy things...

Another friend (who has never worked for the NHS) has told her that she will have to do a drugs test as part of health check and cannabis will be detected for up to 6 months. I have no idea where her friend got this information about needing to do a drugs test, but it's gotten her worried sick.

The hospital has made no mention of a drug test and my friend is paranoid that they will check for THC levels in her blood sample.

She's at the point where she's saying she's going to make excuses, not attend and give up. I would hate to see her throw away this opportunity since she has worked so hard in difficult circumstances to get this opportunity.

I'd just like to hear if any knows if the NHS generally does this kind of thing.

4276 Posts

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Posted:  08-May-2012 23:18 Log in to like this post
Have not heard this, and would think it unlikely due to cost of tox screen; where do you draw the line?

You're friend could talk in confidence to local OH department to put her mind at rest, no need to give a name.

Bare in mind that the NHS doesn't routinely screen it's staff for MRSA due to cost implications...


414 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 09:53 Log in to like this post
I wouldn't have thought this was done routinely and surely consent would need to obtained anyway?


17 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 11:03
can't do this without informed consent

32 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 12:32
Hep B is obvs for her own safety, to make sure her immunity is up enough, but they absolutely CANNOT screen or test for anything else without consent! Tell your friend good luck, she'll be fine :) xxxx

228 Posts

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Posted:  09-May-2012 12:59
No, pretty sure this type of test is never done for new employee checks

2 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 13:17
Thanks very much for all your feedback! You've really helped her feel more relaxed about it now.

Her worry was that she would be asked for consent on the day and it would be as good as admitting she had done something if she refused. But it sounds like no one has experienced this happening anyway. Thanks again.

46 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 15:33
No one else have a problem with this? I have been to Amsterdam three times and not felt the need to do "the touristy things" and try Cannabis. It's not in my psyche. I presume she did because she had easy access to it. I hope your friend does not feel the compulsion to try other mind altering substances that she may come across whilst working in the NHS.
Just a thorn in the roses.

111 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 15:58 Log in to like this post
i really dont think having a recreational joint of cannabis whilst on a holiday in Amsterdam means that someone is going to raid the drugs trolley at work and swallow the contents

222 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 16:44
Oooh bit harsh fibiloobi2! Not fair comparison really.

1059 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 17:00
Lmao @ those last comments you'd be shocked at what some people have on their records. I cant believe some of the things nurses I've met along away have done. But it hasnt made them bad people and they have been good at thier job, so if the powers that be have let them work who are we?x

10 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 17:33
Fibiloobi2, I hope your approach to your patients is a bit more open minded and less judgemental!

372 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 17:51
it is not routine in the NHS to test for drugs, if she hasnt been able to provide evidence of measles, rubella and a history of vz that is all they will want plus the hep b of course.

46 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 18:04
Bubblegum, do you really think that Cannabis is recreational?


46 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 19:00
Brucie, it is my approach to my patients that made me post. Call it judgemental if you like but I would hope that anyone delivering care to me ,mine, or yours would be free from any mind altering substances.

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Posted:  09-May-2012 19:08 Log in to like this post
I;m sure we all would Fibiloo including davet and her colleague.
We would no more want to be treated or indeed driven by by someone who had just had a legal triple  vodka or a joint.

On my day off and when not driving or operating dangerous machinery though .... if I wish to have some alcohol or if away in a country where it is legal to have a joint  that is my choice not my employers or my patients.

Please be informed that the above is the opinion of the author and is in no way meant to be taken as instruction.


137 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 19:59
Nicely put Karen

207 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 20:20
Karen the voice of reason! I personally would not take any illegal substances too scared LOL but as long as they are doing their job properly & professionally what one does in their own time is their business.


111 Posts

Posted:  09-May-2012 20:51
in that context yes, away on holiday, no responsibilities to others, not unlawful in Amsterdam, no different to all the nurses on here who drink wine on a friday evening in my opinion. with respect to your opinion, i think it needs to be put into perspective

1 Posts

Posted:  14-Dec-2012 22:36
Just to add to this topic...so when doing occupational health check for band 2 hca job that will involve EPP will they screen for recreational drugs or is it only for the standard hep b etc that they need to check you have had.

Just worried as I used to be a bit of a party girl but changing my habits as wanting to start nursing etc. I'm now really worried somethings going to come up in my blood test and I won't get the job.

If they do screen for this, anyone have any ideas how long things stay in your system for?
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