The vast majority of care homes have no surveillance and expert monitoring systems whatsoever. Those that do, simply use a conventional 24 hour continuously recording CCTV system that stores images that are only ever recovered if a complaint or concern is raised. Today’s systems, however, are vastly different, more proactive and very much more responsive as Care Protect managing director Philip Scott explains.
The Care Protect system is an ‘untoward events’ recording system with recording only occurring when certain settings are triggered. It is then that an immediate email alert is created allowing for a review of the ‘event’ by an independent, experienced health and social care professional, within minutes of an event happening. It is a proportionate technology, so ensuring residents are not recorded 24 hours a day when little change occurs for long periods of time.
The use of this latest technology, together with professional and independent health and social care experts reviewing recorded images, is something that the sector and the regulator should embrace, particularly as it has been proven to materially enhance safeguarding and address poor practice.
Care Protect cameras are IP-based, which allows the immediate upload of encrypted footage to the Cloud. IP-based systems offer better quality images than conventional analogue CCTV cameras, and this provides our review team with an image of sufficient quality that they can magnify to closely view any item of concern.
There are several care settings now using the Care Protect system. One of the first was the 76-bed Bramley Court in Birmingham. A system has now been in use at that facility for almost 12 months. In that time Safeguarding referrals have reduced dramatically and quality scores have also improved. In addition, occupancy is now at capacity with a waiting list in place.
Key findings from this 12 month operational period show that:
• 95% of relatives want and support the system use
• Safeguarding referrals having reduced considerably
• Staff support the use of the
• Images have permitted swift resolution of concerns/complaints
• Improved care delivery as training has been more targeted
• Relative confidence in the provider has materially improved
• Monthly reports providing hard evidence of activity should client wish to share it with any stakeholder are welcomed
The Care Protect system is an overt, consent-only, surveillance and monitoring service. So residents with capacity are asked for written consent before bedroom cameras’ are switched on. For residents without capacity, an advocate’s consent or best interests assessment finding is required before cameras are
Care Protect, and its advisers, in developing this concept, have taken account of the various laws surrounding data protection and filming. This includes the Data Protection Act 1998, the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice pursuant to the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, issued by the Home Office, and CQC’s February 2015 guidelines.
Despite this, we understand that some residents and/or their relatives may not want filming of them to take place.
Should a resident not want their room to be filmed, the technology exists to switch off the service in any one location.
As far as affordability is concerned, the question should be, can the sector afford not to embrace new technology to ensure the safeguarding of residents and the driving up of standards? The cost equates to around £10 per resident, per week for an average 70-bed home. That effectively equates to one resident’s income for a full year of service.
Installation of the Care Protect technology is included in the price of the system. Its cameras use Visual Network Adapters to personalise audio, motion and light change settings for each and every resident who has consented to being monitored. When something ‘untoward’ happens, recording commences and alerts are created to ensure immediate review of any unusual activity. Those alerts are forwarded to the 24 hour on-call professionals who are monitoring all untoward events. They will then, having reviewed the alerted footage, determine the response time for intervention.