A new care monitoring service which uses sound and motion sensitive camera equipment to trigger alerts of any unusual activity has been launched to protect vulnerable people, such as the elderly in care homes.
The footage will be monitored by health or social care sector-trained staff, and will also offer family members and guardians the chance to have a live feed of their relative's room that they can access via smart phones, tablets or desktop computers.
Care Protect said its care system could provide reassurance to family members in the light of recent cases of abuse and malpractice in care, such as at the Winterbourne View care home (pictured) where 11 staff were found to have ill-treated and neglected residents.
It said it also will protect workers as it will be able to prove if any allegations made against them are false.
The discreet cameras include sound and motion detection and infra-red so immediate alerts can be raised if an incident is seen or heard, and they also include privacy settings to block any agreed zones or areas of view the cameras would normally show.
Care Protect founder Philip Scott said: "This innovative service model combines surveillance capabilities with third party monitoring by a team who have expert understanding of health and social care.
"By adopting a transparent and independent review of images that may constitute 'incidents', the well-being of adults and children is improved and they are better safeguarded and protected.
"This will contribute to the raising of standards and lead to greater confidence among service users and their families."
Earlier this year, health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued guidance to families thinking of setting up hidden cameras to check up on the care of their loved ones in hospitals and homes.
Publishing advice on the topic for the first time in response to several high-profile cases, the CQC said those thinking of using a camera should consider how it may intrude on other people's privacy and to think about raising their concerns with the relevant parties first.
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