Residents divided on the use of visible cameras in care homes

HC-One, the UK’s third largest care home provider, has initiated a sector-wide debate on implementing an opt-in, visible camera scheme in care homes.

HC-One consulted residents, relatives and staff to gauge their views on an opt-in, visible camera scheme. Based on the results received, HC-One is now calling for a sector wide public debate on the issue.

More than 12,000 people responded to HC-One’s consultation:

•    68 per cent of all respondents were in favour of introducing opt-in, visible cameras in homes
•    87 per cent of relatives supported of the use of cameras
•    63 per cent of staff supported the use of cameras
•    53 per cent of residents opposed the use of cameras

A number of concerns emerged about the implementation of such a scheme:

•    Privacy for Residents – 74 per cent
•    Who has access to the footage – 65 per cent
•    Who watches the footage – 63 per cent
•    Where footage is stored and how secure it is – 60 per cent
•    Where in the home cameras are used – 53 per cent

This consultation was the first phase of HC-One’s broader three-phase project. Phase two involves an industry-wide debate on the findings and possible ways to navigate the so-far inconclusive results. The full report has been sent to regulators and stakeholders, including the Department of Health. HC-One is keen to receive feedback from these bodies, and any other interested organisation, by 31 December.

HC-One’s chairman, Dr Chai Patel, (above) said: "At HC-One, we have long been debating how to stamp out malpractice in care homes and restore public trust in the care sector. Having worked hard over the last three years to make a number of important investments and improvements to our homes, we felt now was the right time to discuss the use of visible cameras with the individuals who matter most to us – HC-One residents, relatives and staff members.

 “The results of this consultation are vitally important in initiating an industry-wide debate on the matter. The potential implementation of an opt-in, visible camera scheme is a very serious issue and one for the whole sector to debate in depth. We welcome regulators, stakeholders and other interested bodies to share their opinions and ensure that our loved-ones up and down the country receive the kindest care.”

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