CQC guidance on spying in care homes

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

CQC are to release guidance later this month, which will advise relatives and care home providers on how to set up covert surveillance if they have concerns about their staff.

Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care said that the method should only be used as a last resort. She said: “We have decided that the best way to proceed is to issue guidance so those providers and relatives who feel the need to do it know what the issues are that they need to take into account. Respecting the dignity of people is central.”

Whilst some people are in favour of the guidance arguing it is the only way to protect vulnerable service users, others fear that it will infringe the privacy of care-home residents whilst serving to demotivate staff.

Davina Ludlow, director of the care-home directory carehome.co.uk said: “We need to train, support and inspire the next generation of carers, not create a big-brother culture where people are afraid to do this vital job.”

The guidance will be part of an overhaul of the way England’s 18,000 care homes and 7,000 providers of domiciliary care are inspected to try to rebuild public trust.

The CQC hope to provide a clear and comprehensive source of information on care homes with new consumer-style inspection reports which have now come into force. Norman Lamb, the care minister, has suggested that he would support the use of surveillance and that cameras could be introduced at the request of relatives.

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