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CQC asks whether CCTV should be used in care homes

camerasThe Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced plans to install hidden cameras and ‘mystery shoppers’ in care homes in a bid to increase the regulations of social care. Care homes and social care premises are home for some of society’s most vulnerable people. To subject them to covert surveillance where there is not reasonable cause for suspicion would be both an attack on their privacy and dignity.

In a signposting document which has been published today ahead of a full public consultation, Andrea Sutcliffe, Britain’s first Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said: “We would like to have an open conversation with people about the use of mystery shoppers and hidden cameras, and whether they would contribute to promoting a culture of safety and quality, while respecting people’s rights to privacy and dignity.”

It is important to consider the culture of care homes and whether we want them to have the same kind of atmosphere as a prison. It is of course right to investigate specific complaints, but this should not entail the routine, undisclosed surveillance of our loved ones. Any measures should be both necessary and proportionate, a balance that is essential to maintain in such a sensitive environment and where emotions are likely to run high if wrongdoing is alleged.

What must be remembered is that care homes are just that, homes. The vast majority of residents, whilst vulnerable, completely have their wits about them and should be fully consulted before any CCTV cameras are installed, especially if the cameras are to be in their private rooms. Any reforms should be focused on ensuring residents feel safe and comfortable in their home, not increasing stress through unnecessary surveillance.

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in CCTV, Privacy, Surveillance

9 Responses to CQC asks whether CCTV should be used in care homes

  1. Robin

    This proposal is, in my view outrageous. Working in a care home is one of the most demanding and under valued jobs one can do. I have worked in many homes (though not for some years) and other care settings and worked alongside probably hundreds of people. I have probably met two people who I would consider a risk. If cameras were installed there would no doubt be ares where they would not be permitted and it seems obvious that this is where abuse would take place. Better screening, pay and training would do much to prevent abuse in my view and ultimately I’d question the worth of any suggestions of an organisation which, not so long ago made the news because of its own significant failings.

  2. Khalid Malik

    I believe it would be an excellent idea, especially to monitor performance of nurses attending, time spent, and punctuality etc. It will also protect the elderly from BOGUS nurses appearing through the technology of Face Capture and TIME IN/OUT etc. The patients privacy would be protected for all times other that the VISITING TIMES and or during an Unusual attendance by someone outside the scheduled slots.

  3. Khalid Malik

    It will also place the Care Provider on alert and monitor performance accurately and cost effectively and save local authorities valuable HR to monitor productivity.

  4. P Silburn

    This will not work. There are residents who have dementia and at times they are at risks to themselves and others. There is no privacy or dignity watching them in compromising conditions, such as weeing on the floor etc. The head of the care commission has not got a glue. What about the rights of the care staff? Also the mystery shoppers will only bring about a culture of uncertainty and high emotions.

  5. and again

    Hidden cameras are the solution to everything these days – at least some would like us to think so. Is it not possible for people to do their job without getting spied upon? Care homes should be able to provide the service being paid for without resorting to putting residents under surveillance which absolutely is not respecting people’s rights to privacy and dignity. The worst thing about all of this is that those in positions of power appear to see surveillance as a first step and not as a last resort if ever.

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  7. christine

    There has to be some kind of protection for our vulnerable and elderly in our society, but I’m not sure whether camera are the answer.what have the inspectors of these establishments been doing, by not responding to complaints and as there title suggest inspecting on a regular basis. Also it seems to me that when a cleaners can be paid the same amount to be a carer (no disrespect to cleaners).It about time the councils stopped encouraging cheap contracts for the the sake of quality care and care providers should take care of their staff better by providing a decent hourly pay, and petrol allowance for us drivers including quality training so carers feel valued within their role, as most of us do it because we care.

  8. Brian Glenn

    I am the manager of four supported housing units,with a mental health specialism.
    I am interested in this discussion as it gives us the opportunity to debate safety , good support delivery and right to privacy.
    We are considering using video badges to record and monitor support delivered to our service users.
    The video badges are the same as the police and traffic wardens use.
    I know privacy is important but,using this will protect individuals by monitoring the support given.

  9. Paul Mensah

    I believe if you have nothing to hide and are a good carer then working under surveillance should not be a problem. Training of staff is a good measure to prevent abuse but not a deterrent! CCTV should be made compulsory in at least all the communal areas in a care setting to prevent abuse of vulnerable adults and children.

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