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CCTV In Care Homes

Thursday, February 12, 2015

CQC Publish New Information On Hidden Cameras In Care Homes

There is a degree of inevitably about cameras in care settings so five tests set out by union should be applied says GMB.

GMB, the union for staff in care homes, commented on the publication on 12th February by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of information to help people make appropriate decisions on the use of hidden cameras to monitor someone's care. See notes to editors for copy of press release from CQC dated 12 Feb 2015.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer for care sector, said "Cameras are not the answer to the crisis in the care sector, more money is. As things are now care is a minimum wage or just above sector. Society seems to value those working and caring for our most vulnerable and elderly less highly than those stacking shelves at any major supermarket. That just cannot be right.

We recognises there is a degree of inevitably about cameras in care home resident’s rooms, and private individuals' homes but GMB say there should be five tests applied first:

1. What would be the purpose of each camera being introduced?
2. Has the prior consent and views of the residents been obtained?
3. How is the system regulated?
4. Who will have access to the footage and when? How will it be kept secure?
5. Could the money be better spent elsewhere?”


Contact: GMB Justin Bowden 07710 631 351 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880.

Notes to editors

Copy of press release from CQC dated 12th Feb 2015

Information published on the use of hidden cameras in health and social care settings

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is today (Thursday 12th February) publishing information for families, carers and those who use health and adult social care services to help people make appropriate decisions on the use of hidden cameras, or any type of recording equipment, to monitor someone's care.

Commenting on today's information for members of the public, CQC's Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, said: "We all want people using health and social care services to receive safe, effective, high quality and compassionate care. It is what everyone has a right to expect.

"Sadly, we know that does not always happen and the anxiety and distress this causes people, either for themselves or a loved one, is simply awful.

"For some, cameras or other forms of surveillance, whether openly used by services or hidden by families, are the answer. Others feel this is an invasion of people's privacy and dignity. Many don't know what to do if they are concerned.

"For more than a year we have been talking to people who use services, their families and carers as well as providers about this hugely controversial subject. They told us that information from the regulator would be helpful.

"We published information for providers in December, setting out the responsible steps they need to take into account when considering or already using open or hidden surveillance.

"Today's information for the public explains what people can do if they are worried about someone's care and the things they need to think about if they are considering using any form of recording equipment.

"I hope that this information helps the public to make the right decisions for them. But what I want more than anything is for services to always provide care that meets the standards we all expect so that the public can have confidence.

"CQC will continue to hold providers to account and take action when necessary to make sure that happens."

Beth Britton, Freelance Campaigner, Consultant, Writer, Blogger – and former carer to her father who had vascular dementia – added: "As someone whose father experienced a six-month period of poor care in a care home that led directly to his death, I look back on that time now and wonder if I could have done more to halt what was happening by using a method of surveillance.

"Many families face very difficult decisions and feel utterly bereft when they know of, or suspect, poor care but feel they cannot prove it.

"Surveillance is clearly only one option, and certainly won't be a route that every family wants to take, but given that different methods of surveillance have received some high-profile coverage in the media, information on this difficult topic is important, not least because it also sets out clear advice for families on who they can contact when they are worried about poor care."

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said: "Cameras have helped to expose terrible cruelty and neglectful care and I welcome this new advice. 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 the make the right choice for them.

"We are committed to preventing poor care from happening in the first place and have introduced tougher standards for inspecting care services as well as measures to shut down those that aren't up to scratch."

For media enquiries about the Care Quality Commission, please call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out-of-hours on 07789 876 508. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.


Notes to editors

Read more about information CQC published for health and social care providers on the use of surveillance in December

More information about Beth Britton is available here:

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.


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