Lights, camera . . . enforcement action?

Posted on April 4th, by geoff in CT blog. 2 comments

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

Philip Scott has suggested that the Care Quality Commission should consider making use of camera surveillance technology as part of the inspection process, as a means of staying within its shrinking budget.

One has to smile, because Philip has a clear commercial interest here; being the founder and managing director of a company which operates a camera surveillance based monitoring service aimed at care homes.

But he could be right on the money. Ever since stationary steam engines replaced pit ponies in coal mines, new technology has inexorably supplanted older ways of doing things.

We may all shudder at the idea of CQC becoming an Orwellian ‘Big Brother’ but, while we all acknowIedge that inspectors and pit ponies are very different beasts, on reflection, not a few care providers might see cameras as being somewhat less intrusive and more objective than a team of inspectors under the present clumsy regime.

What’s the betting that we see a pilot project in the not too distant future, or camera surveillance becoming part of the ‘special measures’ parcel?

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

2 responses to “Lights, camera . . . enforcement action?”

  1. John Burton says:

    Unfortunately I can imagine CQC getting into surveillance, after all, they constantly talk of “intelligence” as in GCHQ-style intelligence. For CQC, anything but the real job is attractive. Go back a few years and CQC were intent on doing remote inspection by crawling through cyberspace picking up signs of non-compliance. Generally, CQC don’t recognise the signs of abuse and neglect; those are reported to them by others and CQC still don’t respond. Instead, they harass perfectly decent care homes over paperwork, like sending two inspectors for two days to pick through the paperwork and ask trick questions of a little home for five men who have lived there for up to 20 years – yes, THEIR home which they love and CQC are trying to close.
    The real job is left to low-paid, highly skilled, committed care workers plagued by comparatively highly-paid managers, bureaucrats and other parasites such as Skills for Care and the besuited pedlars of compliance tools and surveillance technology.
    Inspection is done best by being there when things are happening, knowing the residents, relatives and staff, and knowing what’s going on in homes. Inspectors need to be enthusiasts and supporters of good care. They need to be local and responsive. Inspection by CQC costs twice as much as it needs to and fails all their own 5 tests.

  2. I think there are already enough vested interests within this sector without imposing camera surveillance on those of us who have more respect for our staff and residents . Efficient , consistent and rigorously applied inspection standards and procedures should be sufficient .

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