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Care Quality Commission to publish information on the use of cameras to monitor care

19 November 2014
  • Media

Following its Public Board Meeting today (Wednesday 19 November), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has agreed in principle to publish information for providers, as well as for people who use services and their loved ones, about the use of covert or overt surveillance to monitor care.

Over the last year, CQC has been seeking views from people who use services, carers, providers, staff and other partners about this important topic.

CQC’s Board members have approved the information to be included in the final documents but have asked that the information for the public be written in a more accessible way. 

With this approval, CQC will publish the information shortly.

Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission, Andrea Sutcliffe, said: “We know that exploring the potential use of hidden and public cameras in care homes and other care settings is a really sensitive issue – and one that provokes a huge range of debate and opinion.

“We have spent the past year really listening to people who are using health and social care services, their families, providers and partners on their experiences, anxieties and concerns that matter to them.

“The information we will publish for providers makes clear the issues we expect them to take into account – for example, consulting with people using the services and staff – if they are considering installing hidden or public cameras.

“I hope the information we will publish for the public will help them make the right decisions in difficult circumstances and I look forward to making sure that this information is written in a way that is most useful for them.

“I am clear that any form of surveillance cannot be seen as the only way to ensure people are receiving safe, high-quality and compassionate care. We need enough staff, properly trained and supported who really care to ensure people get the services they have every right to expect.”

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb, said: “Cameras have helped to expose terrible cruelty and neglectful care and I welcome this new information. Decisions about using surveillance are extremely difficult – there is always a balance to be struck between protecting people and respecting their right to privacy – but this information will help families to make the right choice for them.

“We are committed to preventing poor care from happening in the first place and have introduced tougher standards for inspecting care services as well as measures to shut down those that aren’t up to scratch.”


For media enquiries about the Care Quality Commission, please call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out-of-hours on 07917 232 143. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
30 May 2017

Notes to editors

Follow us on Twitter @CareQualityComm  #CQCcameras

  • Read more about today's Board meeting here.
  • When CQC launched the signposting document A Fresh Start for the Regulation and Inspection of Adult Social Care CQC committed to explore the potential use of overt and covert surveillance.
  • From 9 April until 4 June 2014, CQC consulted on its 'provider handbooks'  that set out proposals – including asking questions on the use of surveillance – for inspecting and rating providers of health and adult social care, under the leadership of the Chief Inspectors of Adult Social Care, of General Practice and of Hospitals.
  • CQC published its handbook for residential and community adult social care services on 9th October.
  • CQC received a high volume of responses during its consultation relating to its adult social care documents, including 208 on its web form, 175 written submissions, 92 responses on its ‘online community’ for care providers, and 89 responses on its ‘online community’ for interested members of the public. Around 750 people attended the 22 events that CQC held across the country.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.