Technology debate key to improving 'unacceptable' care standards

Recent findings of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) unacceptable ‘State of Care’ report, suggest the need for a serious discussion concerning technology’s ability to raise standards across the sector. 

The use of the latest technologies is something that the sector needs to consider and debate, to safeguard both service users and staff.

Bleak figures show that more than half of failing providers have deteriorated or made no improvements since being inspected by the regulator and there are 406 adult social care organisations which are in special measures.

For more than thirty years abuse issues have been reported on an almost weekly basis yet despite repeated efforts to strengthen legislation, prioritise whistleblowing and improve inspection processes, abuse continues unabated.

The lack of rising standards in the care sector is unacceptable and Government, CQC and care providers are unwilling to even consider that technology can assist in driving safe, high quality care for the most vulnerable people in society.

From our own and independent research we know that the public are keen to see camera technology adopted in care settings. Despite legislation over the years being extended, granting new powers to the regulator, a number of high-profile TV exposes and significant media coverage of care home neglect, there has been no material reduction in abuse cases and allegations.  Indeed, families are resorting to hidden cameras in an attempt to combat this.

There are a small number of care homes which have monitoring in place and the results and feedback have been very positive. The independence of the monitors has ensured any identified concerns are immediately addressed and referred to the care provider for instant rectification and if necessary to the appropriate regulatory authority.  This is a debate that must be had if the care sector is to progress, standards rise and vulnerable service users protected.

Care Protect is not a conventional 24hour continuously recording CCTV system. It is an ‘untoward events’ triggered recording system, with subsequent email alerting capability allowing for a review of the ‘event’, by independent, experienced health and social care professionals, within minutes of it happening.

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