Is the answer to good care through the lens of a camera?
The UK's health regulator, the Care Quality Commission, has issued guidance to families thinking of setting up hidden cameras to check up on the care of their loved ones in hospitals and homes. Today's information for the public explains what people can do if they are worried about someone's care and the things they need to think about if they are considering using any form of recording equipment.
The CQC's chief inspector of adult social care, Andrea Sutcliffe, stated
"We all want people using health and social care services to receive safe, effective, high quality and compassionate care.
Sadly, we know that does not always happen and the anxiety and distress this causes people, either for themselves or a loved one, is simply awful.
For some, cameras or other forms of surveillance, whether openly used by services or hidden by families, are the answer.’’
Care minister Norman Lamb said he welcomed the advice as "Cameras have helped to expose terrible cruelty and neglectful care" but that "Decisions about using surveillance are extremely difficult - there is always a balance to be struck between protecting people and respecting their right to privacy - but this information will help families to the make the right choice for them."
More importantly people with relatives in Care homes need to know there are other options available to support their loved ones; a visiting Advocacy service can provide the answer.
Advocacy is about talking to people, listening to, and hearing, what they are saying and giving them information to make their own decisions. it is about spending time getting to know someone and understanding their views wishes and feelings. Advocates are independent; they support people in situations they find difficult and help them understand their rights. Advocates can also provide training to staff to support them in their work.