Ashgate House in Chesterfield has partnered with Care Protect to install camera surveillance to improve its residents’ experience and safety.

Care Protect combines the use of the latest camera and secure cloud technology with monitoring undertaken by the team of highly experienced, independent experts.

While cameras are also installed in bedrooms, these bedroom cameras will be not be activated unless prior permissions have been sought from the relevant people.

Almost 240 safeguarding referrals were made from elderly care services by care home staff in Derbyshire in 2016/17 and 2017/18 (Freedom of Information).

Every safeguarding referral incurs costs, which could be substantial. For the council this will include considerable time and resources spent investigating the issues and for the care provider it can involve employing agency staff to cover for a suspension. This can also impact on the quality of care.

The north-east headquartered company, which operates its monitoring hub from Belfast, employing more than 30 people, currently works in the care sector in the UK and Australia with ambitious plans to expand nationally and internationally.

Brian Rosenberg, director at Ashgate House, said: “This is a positive addition to our home, and I am really pleased to offer this service to our residents and their families.

“This addition of CCTV will allow us to continue to provide exceptional levels of care in new and innovative ways and is something I hope more care homes get on board with. We want residents and families to be completely comfortable with the cameras and assure them that although cameras are installed in bedrooms these will not be turned on without express permission of the resident or the person who has authority to act on their behalf.”

Ben Wilson, Business Development Director at Care Protect, said: “Brian and his team have recognised the importance of embracing new technology to improve safeguarding for both residents and staff.

“The majority of the safeguarding concerns could be dealt with quickly and efficiently if CCTV were used across the care sector.

“Too often, the most vulnerable in society are left at risk of abuse and exploitation. It is beholden to us all to work proactively to ensure that our parents and grandparents can live with dignity.

“Cameras that capture ‘incidents’ in real time and alert an independent monitor who can review the matter almost contemporaneously and use their expert judgement to escalate it to the home manager for further action or reporting to the authorities, if necessary, can provide irrefutable evidence of poor care practice, or abuse.

“Cameras will never be a substitute for adequate staff numbers, supervision or training. However, independently monitored cameras can highlight both good and poor practice, which can then be addressed to refine training and drive up standards of care and ensure safety.

“Combining the use of state-of-the-art technology with the judgement of professional experienced people, surveillance need not be a ‘Big Brother is watching you’ scenario but something that can be embraced as key to offering peace of mind and high-quality standards of safeguarding.”

Ashgate House Nursing and Residential Home provides care for older people living with dementia.