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In recent years, there has been a great deal of negative publicity relating to community-based healthcare services. Issues such as unscrupulous or abusive staff, financial exploitation or violence towards potentially vulnerable members of the community has led to the industry as a whole being regarded as corrupt.

Councils and care organisations have been working hard to address the issues entrenched within the industry, to find effective and efficient ways of reducing incidences of exploitation and abuse. However, with health and social care offering among the lowest-paid career pathways nationally, it has been challenging to identify how to implement significant improvements in terms of calibre of staff, or increased training.

However, following guidelines published by the Care Quality Commission, more and more firms and authorities are realising that there is a single, cost-efficient and highly effective deterrent when it comes to preventing abuse, neglect and exploitation in community care settings: HD CCTV.

Should my firm install HD CCTV surveillance?

There are a number of factors influencing the decision to use electronic monitoring to supervise staff comportment and behaviours. The first is to consider whether there are additional measures which can be taken (such as improving vetting, or implementing more rigorous training), before considering surveillance. This is because, while HD CCTV is a superb deterrent against elderly abuse or exploitation of vulnerable service users, there will always be considerations around trust, or privacy.

As a result, there are some firm rules relating to the use of HD CCTYV in care, including:

• The need to gain full permission from the service user, family, and any other individual living in the home environment which may be included within the surveillance

• The requirement to undertake a Privacy Impact Assessment prior to implementing CCTV devices
• Weighing up whether a visible monitoring system will bring more benefits in terms of eliminating unwanted conduct, when balanced against staff trust and morale
• The need to ensure all recordings from surveillance devices are fully secured and has strict access controls.

That said, HD CCTV can be one of the single most powerful ways of both identifying and eliminating unwanted behaviours from unscrupulous staff. The camera never lies, so by gathering firm and indisputable evidence, many organisations and families have been able to bring about positive results through effective prosecution. If your loved ones are potentially at risk, or you are a domiciliary care firm with a need to implement more structured supervision, HD CCTV could be the single most powerful investment you can make to protect those you care about from harm.

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