Why Care Protect

A number of social media polls over the last couple of years have regularly shown the majority of those polled support the introduction of cameras in care for the purpose of safeguarding vulnerable people. A number of historical abuse scandals - such as those covered by Panorama (Whorlton Hall and Winterbourne View) - appear to have materially reduced public confidence when a question was asked if they would place a loved on in a care home. Care Protect can provide the necessary reassurance and transparency families crave, as they can know as a result of system use that at any time of day their loved one is receiving a quality service in a safe and secure environment. Many Care Providers endeavour to provide excellent care in beautiful and well resourced surroundings. Their recruitment and training processes are often best in class with supervision and assessment of staff undertaken at regular intervals. Many of those homes enjoy 'GOOD' or 'OUTSTANDING' regulator ratings.

The fact however is many care homes might only be independently inspected once every two years which sadly is not often enough if a home is experiencing difficulties.

Care Protect has an ability to conduct randomised inspections every day and its independent team can speak with home staff and provide visual evidence to ensure an identified issue is addressed immediately before it escalates to become a serious incident.

Concerns are regularly raised about care quality and the safety of vulnerable adults and children in residential health and social care settings, or even in their own homes. One only has to go to the CQC regulator website every month and view the number of inadequately rated care homes to know those concerns are not misplaced.

In the past families and Media organisations have reverted to using hidden camera footage, to repeatedly expose abuse and malpractice in many establishments.

Those scandals have often led to dialogue about the official use of cameras in care to improve safeguarding. Many years later and after further abuse stories being uncovered, no mandatory use of camera systems has been implemented. As a result, families continue to use hidden cameras, creating mistrust with staff when found. They have often been placed without the consent of the resident because a family member had concerns. Sadly when some of those concerns were realised after viewing the hidden camera footage, the injury or incident had already occurred and as a result the resident had experienced a degree of suffering.

Overt consented camera systems professionally monitored by independent health and social care professionals would resolve this situation by acting as a deterrent at all times.

Care Protect has been created to help address this need and to improve standards of care quality and safety, specifically in health and social care settings. By harvesting camera images and audio footage and by using the latest secure cloud technology, our monitoring team who have front line expertise and sector understanding, can ensure greater transparency results in improvements in care delivery. That will improve the wellbeing of vulnerable people and better safeguard those who often cannot speak for themselves.

In all situations, private room monitoring only takes place with the prior consent of residents or the appropriate advocate.

The independence of the Care Protect monitors is crucial. If they don’t have confirmation that an issue or concern they have identified is being addressed, they can escalate their concerns to the appropriate national and local governing bodies – so ensuring any serious incident is not suppressed nor hidden. This independent policing system provides reassurance and raises standards of care quality and safety by promoting greater transparency.

One concern often raised when cameras or CCTV is mentioned is that of privacy. The company and its advisers in developing this system have taken account of the various legislation surrounding data protection and filming. System functionality respects both the principles of privacy and consent and recognises operationalising cameras must be both proportionate and appropriate.

The cameras used and smart software imbedded by Care Protect uses the most technically advanced secure analytic services available.  Cameras are visually unobtrusive. The installation and ongoing maintenance of all equipment is straightforward and the necessary technical expertise, support and training is managed by the Care Protect team.

Obviously one concern which can be created when cameras or CCTV is mentioned is that of privacy. The company and its advisers in developing this concept have taken account of the various legislation surrounding data protection and filming. This includes the Data Protection Act 1998, the Surveillance Camera Code of Practise pursuant to the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, issued by the Home Office, and the CQC’s February 2015 guidelines.

Carol Smillie, the TV presenter, has given her backing to this concept and development.