Cameras in care homes could deter abuse of elderly

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A residential care provider is considering whether to install visible CCTV cameras in all of its care and nursing homes.

HC-One, the UK’s third largest residential care provider, sees it as a possible way to tackle the abuse and neglect of vulnerable elderly residents.

Two years ago shocking and distressing failings were exposed at a HC-One home, when a relative used secret filming in a resident’s room.

Staff were filmed neglecting an elderly resident in Oban House, in Croydon, south London. The footage, from December 2012, is due to be broadcast on Wednesday as part of a BBC Panorama documentary looking at elderly care standards.

A HC-One spokeswoman said the poor care filmed in December 2012 “was not, and is not, indicative of the standards we demand and was contrary to all of the processes and training we have put in place”.

She added: “We apologise unreservedly for those failings in 2012.”

A ComRes poll asked more than 2,000 British adults whether they would support or oppose the cameras in care homes. It found that 80 per cent supported the installation of visible cameras in care homes and over a third 36 per cent said they strongly supported the measure.

HC-One’s chairman Dr Chai Patel said the organisation has no tolerance for “this kind of behaviour and we remain deeply sorry to the resident and their family”.

He added: “Unannounced inspections by the CQC (Care Quality Commission), local authorities, and our own service quality teams are important, but alone they do not always uncover the actions of a small number of individuals.

“This is why we feel placing cameras in care homes can only help protect the wellbeing and dignity of those we support. We hope that, as a society, we can start an open and honest debate on this most vital issue.”