There have been many well-publicised failings in care homes across the country recently, where institutional abuse has been uncovered. The advent of surveillance in care homes – far from being an invasion of care workers’ privacy – would enable transparency and accountability to come to the fore and restore the waning patient trust in the care sector.
Covert surveillance is something that the Care Quality Commission began to consider implementing last year and commentators have expressed concern that its introduction would spark issues around privacy. But there is no need for surveillance to be hidden – open CCTV would allow care companies to continue the vital work they do and be rid of the abuse statistics which plague them. Cameras would allow staff to feel secure in the knowledge that they are protected from false allegations, a frequent concern, too.
“The many instances where CCTV could have alerted management and law enforcement to abuse cases or served as a deterrent for persistent ill-treatment are hard to forget. They will continue to appear, unless something is done to ensure transparency and care is assured,” commented Paul Ridout, Partner at Ridouts Solicitors.
“Open use of CCTV is good for care workers. It protects them from false abuse claims. A lot of honest, hard-working care workers welcome the use of CCTV as it protects them and their patients at the same time. We should not assume that care workers do not want CCTV, it would be practically the same as working in a bank. The footage would only be used in the case of claims being made, there is no privacy issue here.”
Ridout concluded, “The Government must act and work in conjunction with the CQC to ensure that measures are taken quickly to put a stop to abuse in care homes. CCTV is by far the most practicable solution.”