Monitoring and Hidden Cameras
Hidden cameras and mystery-shopper exercises may soon form part of a revamped inspection regime for care homes and domiciliary care in England. New adult social care chief inspector Andrea Sutcliffe has said she wants to explore the role such techniques could play in uncovering abuse and neglect. The move will be considered ahead of the launch of a new system next year. The potential of secret filming has already been demonstrated by the way the BBC’s Panorama programme exposed in 2011 the abuse at Winterbourne View, a care home near Bristol for people with learning disabilities. It is essential, however, that, if this is implemented, that it is balanced against the need for privacy and dignity in such settings. Use of CCTV monitoring at work You have the right to monitor your employee’s activities in many situations at work and this is covered by data protection law. Data protection law does not prevent monitoring in the workplace. However, it does set down rules about the circumstances and the way in which monitoring should be carried out. Before deciding whether to introduce monitoring, you should:
- be clear about the reasons for monitoring staff and the benefits that this will bring;
- identify in an impact assessment any negative effects the monitoring may have on staff;
- consider whether there are any less intrusive alternatives to monitoring;
- consider if the monitoring is justified, taking into account all of the above.