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CQC: Guidance on using ‘hidden cameras’ in care

21 November 2014

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Information on how to use surveillance to “expose cruelty and neglect” is soon to be published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 

Following a public board meeting on 19 November 2014, the CQC said information will soon be available for providers. 

Service users and the general public will also be presented with information on the use of covert or overt cameras in a more accessible format. 

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb, said: “We are committed to preventing poor care from happening in the first place and have introduced tougher standards for inspecting care services as well as measures to shut down those that aren’t up to scratch.”

He believes that surveillance can help expose cruelty and neglect within the healthcare sector. 

He added:  “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 make the right choice for them.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of adult social care at the CQC recognizes that the issue of surveillance is a sensitive one that “provokes a huge range of debate and opinion”.

She said: “The information we will publish for providers makes clear the issues we expect them to take into account – for example, consulting with people using the services and staff – if they are considering installing hidden or public cameras.

“I hope the information we will publish for the public will help them make the right decisions in difficult circumstances and I look forward to making sure that this information is written in a way that is most useful for them.”