Care Home Camera
If you have a loved one in a care or nusing home you are naturally concerned about the care they are getting. What happens when you are not there? Are they fed and bathed when they say? Are they happy during the day? Are they treated kindly?
It is tempting to look at means of being a ‘fly on the wall’. A care home camera may be the answer. They are easy to aquire, easy to fit and can be monitored from your mobile phone. The question is: should we use cameras in care homes?
Is a Care Home Camera the answer?
With growing concern over patient safety is it just and prudent to monitor a loved ones care. CCTV footage has been used successfully to get convictions for abuse of elderly. A care home camera can equally demonstrate a none negligent reason for an injury too, such as a fall.
Should it be the family’s decision the use cameras or should care homes offer the facility on the basis that they have nothing to hide. Is the camera to monitor the elderly relative or the staff? Does the camera violate staff privacy?
The existence of a care home camera watching your day to day activities, every minute of the day with no probable cause may be deemed unreasonable. However, the courts in Canada have previously stated that ’employees working in a long-term care facility don’t have the same right to privacy in a patient’s room that they would elsewhere’. It stated it was up to the patient to decide if a surveillance camera be can placed inside their room. These seems a logical view as the patients room is in effect their ‘home’.
These days service levels have diminished for long-term care and patient safety is at such a low. Homes are understaffed and staff under paid. It is a new way to improve safety and protection by having surveillance in place with a care home camera.
The CQC has published information for people who are thinking about using hidden cameras – or any type of recording equipment – to monitor someone’s care. The CQC said opinion was divided about hidden cameras but it was publishing the guidance in recognition of the fact some people were already using them.
Whilst the CQC suggests gaining the elder persons consent to be filmed, they also highlight that it may breach the contract with the care home. The staff may raise human rights breaches for being filmed or data protection issues. To date there has not been a legal case under such circumstances.
The 11-page guidance also covers non-covert recordings. They recommend that if people do have concerns, they should be raised with the provider of services first and then regulators such as the CQC. Any equipment should only be used in a person’s private room and not for instance, in communal areas. In all cases permission should be gained from the individual being cared for first – if they are unable to give consent, filming must be shown to be in their best interests by those doing the filming. The privacy of anyone recorded needs to be considered, including staff and visitors.
Using Cameras in care homes is helpful guidance from the CQC. If you have concerns about poor care or abuse at a care home then get in touch with us today by either contacting 0845 676 9228 or Dr Handley at firstname.lastname@example.org