Nurses from across the UK have backed up concerns raised by nursing staff in the Eastern region about the use of covert recording in care homes.
The Royal College of Nursing’s Congress in Bournemouth heard nurses debate the advantages and disadvantages of using recording equipment to monitor the care given to patients and residents following high-profile cases where abuse has been caught on camera.
The motion proposed at the RCN’s Suffolk branch –That this meeting of RCN Congress urges Council to oppose the use of covert video and audio surveillance and recording in nursing and residential homes – received widespread support from members.
A vote saw almost 80 per cent of those attending the meeting supporting the motion, proposed by Gill Cooksey, deputy chair of the RCN Suffolk Branch.
Ms Cooksey argued that the cameras could compromise the privacy and dignity of patients and home residents when personal care was being provided and would not stop abuse taking place.
She also said that in some cases cameras could be used to replace the direct supervision of patients and care home clients.
She said: “Who are the cameras really for? To protect residents, to protect staff or to replace supervision?”
Nurses from across the country expressed similar concerns. While some acknowledged the potential advantages in helping detect abuse, others said it was vital that levels of staffing and supervision in care homes were adequate to protect the well-being of those receiving care.
Delegates also argued that if filming was to take place, it needed to be with the consent of patients and their families.
Speaking after the vote, Ms Cooksey said: “I am really pleased with the outcome of the vote and the level of debate which took place.“We now look forward to the matter being discussed further within the RCN and the ethical issues being debated.”