Cameras should be in care homes to cut out any abuse

According to recent research one in five (80%) British adults support the installation of visible cameras in care homes.

HC-One, a residential care provider, has announced a consultation on visible CCTV cameras to be installed in all of its care and nursing homes as the latest measure to tackle the abuse and neglect of vulnerable elderly residents.

The suggestion would mean care providers are encouraged to offer an ‘opt-in’ scheme where residents and their relatives would be able to ask for cameras to be placed in their rooms.

A ComRes poll asked more than 2000 British adults whether they would support or oppose the cameras in care homes.

Specifically, four in five (80%) supported the installation of visible cameras in care homes – and over a third (36%) said they strongly supported the measure.

It is hoped that such a scheme will help root out instances of poor quality care, neglect and abuse, and act as a deterrent against deliberate bad practice and cruelty, whilst protecting the privacy and dignity of residents who would prefer not to be filmed.

Two years ago shocking and distressing failings were exposed at an HC-One home, when a relative used secret filming in a resident’s room. Since this time HC-One has been considering the controversial issue of using cameras in all its homes, and discussing the potential scheme with stakeholders and regulators.

As the Panorama programme brings the important issue of cameras in care homes into the spotlight, HC-One is launching the consultation to raise the debate in public, and to offer their residents and relatives the chance to have their say.

Previously, Care Minister Norman Lamb, CQC Chairman, David Prior, and Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care for England, Andrea Sutcliffe, have all backed the idea of camera surveillance in care homes.

HC-One’s Chairman, Dr Chai Patel, said: “The secret filming that took place in 2012 showed shocking and distressing failings. We do not tolerate this kind of behaviour and we remain deeply sorry to the resident and their family. As soon as we became aware of the situation we took immediate action.

“Over the last two years we have had conversations with our stakeholders and our regulator about the potential use of cameras in homes to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents. This is, and always will be, our number one priority.

“The Panorama programme will rightly cause concern both for our residents and their relatives, and for the public as a whole. We think it is vital to launch the debate about the use of cameras while it is at the front of people’s minds.”

Do you agree that cameras should be installed in residential care homes?  What are your concerns about this, if you have any? Ed.