The Care Quality Commission has issued guidance for the first time advising on the use of hidden cameras to monitor the care of people in care homes and hospitals.
It comes after the BBC’s Panorama programme used undercover cameras to reveal abuse and in recognition of the fact that some people were already using these techniques to monitor the wellbeing of their relatives.
In 2011 abuse was exposed at Winterbourne View Residential Hospital near Bristol and last year saw the expose of the Old Deanery Care Home in Essex.
Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of social care, said, ‘We all want people using health and social care services to receive safe and high quality care but we know that does not always happen’.
The guidelines, which also cover non-covert recordings, urge people to raise any concerns firstly with the service provider or the CQC. They state that equipment should only be used in a person’s private room and that permission should be obtained (where possible ) by the person being cared for. The privacy of anyone recorded, such as staff, other patients and visitors, also needs to be taken into account.
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