I blogged a couple of years ago about installing CCTV in every care home and this subject has once again recently hit the headlines.
Andrew Geach, who runs Shedfield Lodge Residential Care Home in Southampton, claimed that he has saved the NHS £50,000 this year by installing CCTV. The savings have been made by not having to call ambulances on all but three of the 119 occasions when a resident had suffered an unwitnessed fall.
Current protocol requires that care homes must call an ambulance every time there is an unwitnessed fall, in case it leads to a potentially serious head injury. Each time this happens, it costs the taxpayer around £420, not including the time spent in hospital and the care provided.
By replicating this pattern across 11,300 UK care homes it could save more than £1 million per day.
Andrew Geach is backing a push by Care Campaign for the Vulnerable for a new law to make CCTV compulsory in all care homes.
Jayne Connery from Care Campaign for the Vulnerable does not find Mr Geach’s claims at all surprising and added “the factual anecdotal evidence from care providers using safety and monitoring systems support the assertions made by Mr Geach”.
Previous suggestions of installing CCTV in homes have met with a mixed response, particularly from those who were concerned about misuse of such equipment.
However, given that the sector needs as much money as possible to put towards care, and if the numbers being quoted are anywhere near correct, then this issue must surely be revisited.
Indeed, it was only last month that Health Secretary Matt Hancock backed calls for safety monitoring in care homes and this had led to hope that the measure will be included in the long-awaited social care green paper to tackle the crisis in adult social care.
As always, I would be interested to hear your views on the subject.