By Debbie le Quesne

HC-One to install care watch cameras

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So what’s making the news today in social care? CCTV – not necessarily for security as one would expect, but as an ever-watchful monitor in residents’ rooms to stop abuse, neglect and theft.

And where’s the dignity in this, I wonder? To their credit, HC-One, the company introducing the system, are presenting the monitoring as an opt-in package.

The operator, which runs 227 homes across the UK, has conducted a public opinion survey which it says shows 80 per cent support for the move.

According to the Guardian, the newsbreak comes ahead of a BBC Panorama programme on Wednesday due to feature secret filming of residents of two homes – one operated by HC-One – being neglected and mistreated.

I’d prefer to think there is a better way that the George Orwell Nineteen Eighty Four approach, but I can’t. I’m saddened that this is the only option left.

Dr Chai Patel, HC-One chairman, being quoted in the Guardian, says the filming revealed “shocking and distressing failings.”

And I can understand that HC-One has little option but to respond in this way.

He argues that the cameras will actually “protect the wellbeing and dignity of those we support.”

I’ve blogged about this kind of monitoring before when the CQC floated out the idea last year. It forever frustrates me that poor carers managed to get through interviews and abuse those who are most vulnerable.

In the survey carried out by HC-One 2,000 adults were questioned and 36 per cent strongly supported the installation of visible cameras in care homes and a further 44 per cent “somewhat supported it.” Just 14 per cent said they opposed the idea.

The figures speak for themselves: We have a lot to do to change public perception about the care we give.

The HC-One home to be featured by Panorama is Oban House in Croydon. Seven members of staff were involved and all were subsequently dismissed.


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