Fake diplomas in care on the increase, inspectors warn

Young person holding old person's hand.
Photo: Depositphotos.com
Young person holding old person's hand.
Photo: Depositphotos.com

The health inspectorate has told care institutions to be more vigilant about workers’ credentials and carry out more thorough background checks, as reports of fake  certificates double.

The number of people who were caught using fake diplomas and the compulsory certificate of good conduct (VOG) doubled to 95 and 11 respectively in 2021, the inspectorate said, warning it could be ‘the tip of the iceberg’.

Most cases involved people who worked freelance via an agency in care for the disabled, mental health institutions, care homes for the elderly, home care services and youth care.

Freelancers are often paid a higher hourly wage, and by filling unpopular shifts at different institution’s schedules they can make up to €10,000 per month, RTL Nieuws reported earlier.

Care institutions and services are struggling to fill vacancies and often have to resort to freelance workers. However, unscrupulous fraudsters can harm vulnerable patients’ safety and the ultimate duty of care lies with the institutions, the inspectorate said. Too many institutions are relying on the agency to do the checks which can be done online via the diploma registers DUO or BIG, it said.

On Thursday eight former care workers will appear in court on suspicion of using fake diplomas. ‘These are serious cases because of the health risks involved,’ a public prosecution office spokesman told RTL.

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