CQC on cameras in care settings

Following CQC’s Public Board Meeting yesterday, 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.

CQC’s Board members have 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. CQC are intending to publish the information in the New Year.

CQC’s 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.’

She also said that 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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