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CQC to issue guidance on use of cameras to monitor care

  • 5 Comments

The Care Quality Commission looks set to publish information to guide health and social care providers, and the general public, on the use of covert or overt surveillance to monitor care.

Over the last year, the regulator has been seeking views about the topic, following cases highlighted in the media where relatives have secretly filmed care given to their relatives.

“We know that exploring the potential use of hidden and public cameras in care homes and other care settings is a really sensitive issue”

Andrea Sutcliffe

At its latest meeting earlier this week, the CQC’s board approved in principle to draw up guidance for health and care organisations and that a separate version be written for the public in a “more accessible way”. 

The regulator said it will “publish the information shortly”.

Andrea Sutcliffe, the CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care, said: “We know that exploring the potential use of hidden and public cameras in care homes and other care settings is a really sensitive issue – and one that provokes a huge range of debate and opinion.

Andrea Sutcliffe

Andrea Sutcliffe

“We have spent the past year really listening to people who are using health and social care services, their families, providers and partners on their experiences, anxieties and concerns that matter to them,” she said.

“The information we will publish for providers makes clear the issues we expect them to take into account – for example, consulting with people using the services and staff – if they are considering installing hidden or public cameras,” Ms Sutcliffe added.

“I am clear that any form of surveillance cannot be seen as the only way to ensure people are receiving safe, high-quality and compassionate care,” she said. “We need enough staff, properly trained and supported who really care to ensure people get the services they have every right to expect.”

Care and support minister Norman Lamb noted that cameras had helped to “expose terrible cruelty and neglectful care”, like that which occurred at Winterbourne View.

Norman Lamb

Norman Lamb

“Decisions about using surveillance are extremely difficult – there is always a balance to be struck between protecting people and respecting their right to privacy – but this information will help families to make the right choice for them,” he said.

A reported last month by Nursing Times, a survey of care home staff has found the majority would support the use of controversial surveillance cameras to help stamp out abuse and bad practice.

HC-One, which is the third largest care home provider in the UK, gathered the views of 7,330 members of staff, more than 3,300 relatives and just over 1,535 residents.

It found 87% of relatives would like one in their loved one’s room, but just 47% of residents wanted the same, citing privacy as a key concern. Meanwhile, 63% of staff said they were in favour.

Winterbourne View

Winterbourne View

  • 5 Comments

Readers' comments (5)

  • Whilst trying to improve care, cameras are not the answer, the problem lies with inadequate training and clinical supervision in very understaffed and pressurised hospitals. I would not want to be watched over receiving my care in hospital my dignity and privacy would be invaded so much. The government needs to realise that nurse training is not as good as it was 25yrs ago and there are too many people in this country and not enough staff or beds to look after the patients. Instead of criticising be more supportive and help to improve services!

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  • it could also prevent false accusations

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  • michael stone

    The CQC did consult on this issue - presumably, a lot of the feedback was along the lines of 'in the end, I needed the filmed evidence to prove the poor care was happening'.

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  • I would not wish to entrust anybody to the care where there is need of such surveillance. it is highly destructive to the relationship of trust between carers and the cared for.

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  • I agree that Nurse training is not of the same calibre that it was.
    I sympathise with the voice above which says that cameras could prevent false allegations.In addition though,I think that in premises where cameras were used it would stop unscrupulous care home owners employing too few staff and getting away with it,for profit.
    I frequently see one carer washing and dressing residents on their own,when really that resident needs two people to work gently and efficiently together.I see carers causing skin injuries and handling people roughly with impatience because they are on their own due to insufficient staff/patient ratio-caused by greedy owners who cut corners to maximise profit.

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