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CCTV in Care Homes

cctv

A recent survey by carehome.co.uk confirmed that 30% of care staff in the UK feel that CCTV should be installed in both communal areas and bedrooms of care homes. It was also revealed that 45% of care homes in the UK do not have any form of CCTV, while only 1% have CCTV in both communal areas and bedrooms.

The CQC has recognised that the use of CCTV cameras may be one of the best ways to ensure safety and quality of care, however, highlights the need to consider whether less intrusive steps can be taken by providers to ensure these high levels of care are achieved.

The topic of CCTV in care homes is a minefield of legal & moral issues from a residents right to privacy & CCTV being deemed a possible deprivation of liberty to GDPR concerns. Seeing as all recordings will contain information that identifies individuals, it is very important that those homes looking to install CCTV cameras consider the relevant legal provisions in data protection. It’s interesting that 36% of staff are keen to see cameras installed within a care home as CCTV is sometimes seen as a spy.

Care providers find that CCTV brings an additional level of comfort to families as well as making everyone feel safer whilst instilling a higher level of confidence and accountability all round. It has improved residents' sleep patterns, due to the reduction of necessary night checks, with staff now able to monitor through the system rather than waking residents. This has also resulted in residents feeling more alert which in turn leads to a reduced risk of falls. Care providers also state another benefit of CCTV is that it can be used to establish how incidents (such as falls) occur and put measures in place to prevent reoccurrence.

From an Insurance point of view the above points are great news and another benefit would be that CCTV footage can be useful in defending/evidencing insurance claims with false or spurious allegations. It also serves as a preventative measure against instances where abuse may occur. It’s not uncommon to see headlines which advise us that families of service users resorting to installing cameras in rooms/homes of their relatives when they suspect mistreatment from carers. Staff with the knowledge that they are monitored and ultimately protected in the event of such claims can confidently and effectively continue their invaluable work on a day to day basis.

CCTV is best handled as a bespoke solution as every Care provider has a unique setup. The best option would always be to use a professional firm who can review the setting and ensure that maximum coverage and effectiveness is achieved. The NCA state that the use of CCTV should be up to the care providers based on their discussions with residents, families and staff along with consideration to their own provisions needs. CCTV can be costly and take up a lot of administrative hours which could be a burden on some care homes. Putting together an effective auditing and recording and storage process is vital but can bring great advantages to the Care sector as a whole.

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