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GMB 5 Tests On CCTV In Care Homes

Thursday, November 20, 2014

After Consulting Members GMB Set Five Tests For Cameras In Care Settings As CQC Is Poised To Publish Guidance Soon On Monitoring

Cameras can never be a substitute for good care and in a chronically underfunded sector a huge majority of members consider that the money could be better spent elsewhere says GMB.

GMB, the union for care homes and domiciliary care staff, responded to the CQC announcement that information will be published soon on the use of CCTV cameras in care settings. See notes to editors for copy of CQC press release,

Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer, said “More than 2,000 GMB members working for HC-One responded to a recent survey of their views on the possible introduction of visible cameras into care homes. Whilst 40 % were opposed to their introduction, a majority were relaxed about it and believed in the right circumstances it could provide some degree of protection to them and residents.

The main reasons for opposition and concern from GMB members working in care, including from those supporting their introduction, were:

-  About the dignity and privacy of the residents;
- That cameras could never be a substitute for good care and in a chronically underfunded sector, a huge majority of GMB members thought the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Care is a minimum wage or just above sector and society seems to value those working in it and caring for our most vulnerable and elderly less highly than those stacking shelves at any major supermarket. That just cannot be right. Cameras are not the answer to the crisis in the care sector, more money is.

GMB recognises there is a degree of inevitably about cameras in care home residents rooms, and private individuals' homes but there should be 5 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?

GMB will apply these five tests in practical discussion with care home providers.”


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

Notes to Editors

CQC press release dated 19th November 2014

Information to be published soon on the use of cameras in care settings

Following our Public Board Meeting today (Wednesday 19 November), it has been agreed in principle to publish information for providers, as well as for people who use services and their loved ones, about the use of covert or overt surveillance to monitor care.

Over the last year, we have been seeking views from people who use services, carers, providers, staff and other partners about this important topic.

Our Board members have today approved for the information to be included in the final documents but have asked that the information for the public be written in a more accessible way.

We will now work towards publishing this information in the new year.

Our Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, 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.

“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.

“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.

“I hope the information we will publish for the public will help them make the right decisions in difficult circumstances and I look forward to making sure that this information is written in a way that is most useful for them.

“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. 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, said: “Cameras have helped to expose terrible cruelty and neglectful care and I welcome this new information. 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.

“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.”



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