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 Care Campaign For The Vulnerable

Care Campaign for the Vulnerable is learning of the pressures faced by conscientious led Care Providers striving to offer a caring and safe environment to both service users and staff. Safety monitoring is proving to be a invaluable care assist tool - bringing a more open and transparent culture into care homes as well as saving valuable resources within the care home sector and the NHS

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''Our care home is installing camera technology in communal areas...''

15th July 2021

Care Campaign for the Vulnerable influencing providers to adopt safety monitoring in communal areas in all UK care homes.

Care Campaign for the Vulnerable are lead influencers on providers adopting safety monitoring and regularly invited into care homes to discuss the many benefits camera technology will bring to vulnerable residents and carers. We were delighted when contacted by Dawn Bunter, Care Home Manager and Rob Hammond from Iceni House, telling CCFTV of the reasons they are preparing to install safety monitoring.

''Iceni House residential home has been on a journey of development since January 2020, following a CQC inspection in late 2019 that cited that there was a need for cultural change, developing the team, ensuring safe practice with key areas such as medication management and significant development of the care and support the residents received. With this period of time, the home has changed beyond words. The outcomes for our residents has changed significantly and the team works extremely hard to under the leadership and mentorship of a focused and committed management team. There is a culture of realism, transparency, going that extra mile and innovation steadily developing in the home. We have not let the challenges of the pandemic hamper or stop this journey in ensuring we strive to keep our residents safe, listen to them and involve them and their families every step of the way, focus on wellbeing and all its aspects and work in developing all we do. There is a very real recognition that the journey continues to ensure the home continues to learn, improve and develop every day.

Within this journey we have looked at aspects of our care, establishing effective systems, training and supporting our team to work towards excelling and lastly how we can adapt, change, make accessible and change the environment to meet the needs of our residents. The home is divided into two units and downstairs on our Pickenham Unit, we support and provide care for up to 35 residents living with dementia and at times complex needs. We promote the culture and support of our residents that we are guests in their home, we support them to make decisions, have as much freedom as possible and above all take the risks they wish, alongside promoting as much independence as possible.

The home was built around thirteen years ago and whilst probably defined as purpose-built, it does not always meet the needs of the residents and has some design flaws that needed to be considered in the development of the environment. Balanced with meeting complex needs in our Pickenham Unit which include a risk of falls, incidents of worry, anxiety, pressures of communal living, the impact of the pandemic in terms of the family not being able to visit in the early stages of the pandemic, not being able to leave the home as just some examples of what we needed to consider in terms of the environment. We realised through analysis over the last year of accidents and incidents that we had several blind spots in the unit’s communal areas, that even with the inflated staffing ratio we would potentially miss. The next natural progression and debate was the potential installation of CCTV to support us with keeping our residents as safe as we possibly can, against the balance of always promoting their independence. With unwitnessed falls or incidents, we realised that we could be missing vital information for analysis of the event that means we could develop the support of an individual resident further.

The home has a very positive and responsive staffing level to meet needs and the debate about the installation of CCTV is not intended to replace any staffing resources we responsively need to have in place. Throughout this journey and even when income was low, with less occupancy as we changed the reputation and care delivery in the home, we have had the support of proactive ownership to deliver exceptionally positive and proactive staffing levels at all times. As we have worked through our development plan this simply seemed like the natural next step.

Our thoughts were that the installation of CCTV would enhance what we do to another level. It is about safety, providing an additional learning tool, to provide reassurance of another layer for families and representatives who have had not been able to spend as much time with their loved ones of the diligent monitoring and the commitment of the management team, provide us with evidence for analysis and support with safeguarding as some of the reasoning behind our thinking.

We do not provide one-to-one care in the home and only on a rare occasion with funding from the continuing healthcare team and are aware that there is always more we can do to keep our residents safe. To this end, we have been seeking consent from our residents and their representatives for the use of CCTV in the communal areas of the Pickenham Unit prior to its installation which is expected to be in early to mid-August.

The use of CCTV in the home, even within the communal areas of Pickenham unit, does indeed pose a risk and challenge to the privacy of individual and collective residents living in the unit, some of which will be unaware of its presence or implication due to the impact of their progressing dementia. Once agreement is in place we will be developing policies relating to its use, access to this, how we manage confidential information and clear guidance for the team who have access and in what context this can be used. We are taking very careful steps indeed to ensure that no camera compromises our resident's dignity or points directly into their room as their personal space.

Working in and managing a care setting that was rated as inadequate and failing means that at times the conduct of team members has not always been positive and in some cases neglectful. This can happen in positive care setting too. The role of Registered Manager and indeed Nominated Individual is such a gravely responsible one and any support that ownership and management team have to monitor care and the conduct of team members either in a safeguarding context or a developmental context, as to how they look to provide support of our residents differently. There is a small element in this decision making that provides another level of reassurance for a Registered Manager linked to such a responsible role twenty-four hours a day. One should be very open that this adds another layer of insight into monitoring the team’s conduct and interaction with highly dependant residents. We have been considering, debating and planning this process for around six months and have taken our time with this decision, choosing the right time to consider implementation.

The process we are currently following prior to the installation of CCTV is as follows:

• Detailed discussion with the ownership and team as to the benefits and challenges this could pose
• Put together detailed justification and risk assessment linked to CQC guidelines
• Survey unit with the contractor and discuss potential camera placement to ensure as much coverage of communal areas, key areas of risk and balance against privacy
• Assess the capacity of all our residents on Pickenham Unit to be involved in this decision and provide consent to the installation
• Write to families and representatives of Pickenham Residents without capacity and seek consent and go through a period of consultation
• Write to residents living in other areas of the home and their families informing them of the change to the environment
• Write to visiting professionals likely to go into the unit after installation
• Write to our team and open up discussion, discuss worries and the reasons for implementation
• Update policies and procedures relating to the use of CCTV, information governance
• Update publications and information given to current residents, prospective residents such as service user guides and statement of purpose
• Training senior team members to use the system within the boundaries of our new polices integrating the use of surveillance
• Ensure signage and open declaration is in place
Once installed, this begins the next phase of our learning and journey in advanced monitoring of the care and support we deliver, we do this soberly and with reflection each step of the way.''

If you would like to know more about Care Campaign for the Vulnerable's work advocating and influencing safety monitoring in all UK care homes, please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you, ccftv.cares@gmail.com

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Evicition in Care

CCFTV influencing Safety monitoring in communal areas in care homes

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Our Director's statement to why Care Campaign for the Vulnerable was set up.

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Should there be a Covid-19 public inquiry?

CCFTV and Slater and Gordon UK lead the call for a public inquiry on the handling of care homes during the Covid pandemic.

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Report from Marbrook Centre in Cambridge on the benefits to safety monitoring in communal areas for residents and staff.

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Dominic Grieve Westminster Speech 2018 on Care Campaign For The Vulnerable Safety Monitoring In Care Homes

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Care Campaign Government Proposal

"The evidence from Providers who have installed CCTV seems to me to merit careful attention and to be quite persuasive"

Dominic Grieve MP

Just some of the Care Providers who support our CCTV Safety Monitoring in Care Homes

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Download their 'Safety Monitoring In Communal Areas in Care Homes' document

Safe Place Scheme

Chiltern and South Bucks District Council SAFE PLACE SCHEME has called on Care Campaign for the Vulnerable to add our support to the initiative for those who are vulnerable in the community to get help if out and about and feeling scared , lost or confused.

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Care Campaign for the Vulnerable is learning of the pressures faced by conscientious led Care Providers striving to offer a caring and safe environment to both service users and staff. Safety monitoring is proving to be a invaluable care assist tool - bringing a more open and transparent culture into care homes as well as saving valuable resources within the care home sector and the NHS

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