No CCTV for county council care homes

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C140029-1 County Hall phot kate''County Hall.C140029-1 ENGSUS00120140701135255

WEST Sussex County Council will resist calls to roll out CCTV in any of its care homes following the Orchid View scandal.

HC-One, one of Britain’s biggest operators, is currently considering installing surveillance cameras across its network of 241 homes nationally and others are understood to be following suit.

It follows care minister Norman Lamb’s comments to a BBC Panorama documentary revealing abuse in two homes, that CCTV was being considered by the Care Quality Commission.

But none of the seven homes across the Observer area – four in Chichester, two in Bognor, one Midhurst – are currently in line for the radical move.

The council’s stance over CCTV was raised by Cllr Sandra James at Friday’s full meeting (July 25).

In a written response, Peter Catchpole, the cabinet member for adult social care and health, said the council’s primary concern was whether the privacy and dignity of residents could be protected adequately when CCTV was used.

He also pointed out the use of CCTV was not mentioned among 34 recommendations from a serious case review following the Orchid View Care Homes deaths, saying: “In view of this... the county council is not currently considering the installation of CCTV within its adult care homes.”

Instead, the county council will focus on helping to implement those recommendations from the serious case review, launched in the wake of an inquest which found that 19 elderly residents had died at Orchid View Care Home in Copthorne after receiving ‘sub-optimal care’, with five involving neglect.

Speaking at a council meeting, Ms Jones asked: “We have the reports from the serious case review on Orchid View Care Home, and we all know how shocking that was, they have made the 34 recommendations which this council supports.

“Is the cabinet member confident that we do have the structure in place to monitor our care homes from now on across West Sussex?”

Mr Catchpole replied: “It was a tragic situation and of course this serious case review arose out of the inquest that took place and the coroner’s comments which came forward.

“Someone asked me the other day which are the most important and my answer was all of them because we need to make sure they all see the light of day and get implemented.”