Could CCTV in care homes become compulsory?
Conservative MP Dominic Grieve is advocating a new law which would make CCTV cameras compulsory in care homes.
The MP for Beaconsfield will apply for a debate and wants this to be one of the first issues considered by MPs when they return to Parliament in September.
After hearing from campaign group Care Campaign for the Vulnerable, Mr Grieve told the Daily Express: “We are not going achieve this overnight, but it is something we should continue pressing for.
“There is clearly growing anxiety about the risk of abuse, sometimes from other residents and sometimes staff, so all that seems to me to make it very valuable. It’s there to protect carers, it’s not just as a spy device.”
He also stated that the proposed law would reassure residents and relatives by showing how any injuries happen.
The use of CCTV in care homes is a hotly debated topic with some families of abuse victims believing it to be the only way to catch abuse and neglect.
Mr Grieve is said to be supported by MPs from across the political divide.
At present, there is no requirement for care providers to use monitoring in communal areas. However, if the plans are successful, all care homes would have to install recording equipment.
However, others have argued that the proposed solution would not resolve the issues facing care homes in the UK.
Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of adult social care at the Care Quality Commission said that homes should speak to residents and families about whether installing CCTV is wanted and “not rely upon the regulator to make a blanket decision for them”.
In addition, Gary FitzGerald, chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse has formerly said that the issue of CTV is a “red herring” that is deflecting from the whole issue of quality of care. Instead, he believes that the focus should be on forcing the Government to invest in social care.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, has also spoken up about this issue. In May this year, she said: “With all the media stories about abuse and neglect in care homes it can be tempting to see installing security cameras as ‘the answer’, but Age UK very much doubts this is the case. For a start, there will always be areas which cameras do not see and we would not want there to be a false sense of reassurance about the care on offer to residents. More profoundly, care homes are that just that – people’s homes – and those living in them have rights to privacy and dignity just like everyone else, especially as residents will often receive help with intimate tasks, such as washing and dressing. Any use of cameras must therefore balance concerns about older people’s welfare with their right to dignity. Certainly, as a matter of principle we think that cameras should only be used with the informed consent of care home residents or their representatives.
“Above all, we need to raise the quality of care in care homes across the board and ensure that all older people, their families and staff are involved in how the care home is run and are able to raise any concerns, confident that their feedback will be acted on.”