11:31 15 October 2013
Andrea Sutcliffe, the new adult social care chief inspector, plans to utilize hidden cameras as well as ‘mystery shopper’-style exercises to uncover neglect and abuse in care homes across England next year.
However, she admitted that using such measures will mean striking a balance against the need for privacy and dignity in such settings. This proposal will be considered ahead of the launch of the new system next year.
She said: "This is a fresh start for how care homes, home care and other adult social care services are inspected and regulated across the country."
But she added: "We have to consider the privacy and dignity and how we can balance these.”
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb acknowledges “serious flaws” in the system. He said: "Confidence in the regulation regime has been shaken, but we have turned a corner. I welcome the chief inspector's new commitment to protecting people vulnerable to abuse and neglect.”
Simon Wood is one member of the public who has a loved one in care homes. He installed his own CCTV cameras to ensure that this mother-in-law was taken care of properly. Talking to BBC, he said: "Mum getting sworn act, threatened, hit, medication being poured down the sink, not being given to Mum, it was quite upsetting and quite horrendous to see what she was going through.”
"The final thing was when the two carers... dragged her out of a chair and threw her on the bed and threatened to smash her face in."
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