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Abuse in elderly care homes part 2

By Creative(54,965) Creative

Posted Sunday, December 16, 2007
View All Blog Posts submitted by Creative

I wrote recently about the abuse that takes place in elderly care homes and what can be done to combat it, namely the introduction of CCTV to rooms so that staff are too afraid to be abusive for fear of being caught as they are always being watched. It is a preventative measure. The original post is HERE.
I wrote about this suggestion to my member of parliament who passed it on to the relevant person who deals with these matters in our Government. The reply stated that CCTV had been considered in 2002 but was rejected mainly on the grounds of protecting the privacy of patients etc. There was also some mention of Human Rights.
I have since written back to my MP to argue this point. A patients right to privacy is indeed paramount but so is their right to choose and my feeling is that patients should be able to choose whether to have CCTV or not, rather than be refused this simple solution which could eradicate any chance of them being abused, mishandled, ill treated , underfed/hydrated.
I made the following points:
In General Practice, trainee GP's are required to video many consultations as part of their MRCGP training and to do so, they merely obtain the written consent (via signature on a form) from the patient before they go into the consultation. 

Patients are recorded during operations and countless other scenarios where dignity is compromised but these patients are 'asked'. Thus they have more rights than the elderly it seems who are not asked in this care home setting if they want this protection or not. 
Also as the CCTV is more prevention that cure, the tapes would only be viewed randomly and rarely but should any patient or relative complain of abuse the evidence could then be viewed.

I would not object if I was in this situation to CCTV, if it safeguarded me and offered proof should I make a claim, neither would I object on behalf of a relative who was unable to object/consent themselves. I am not alone in this view and people should be able to decide for themselves.

I think if privacy of patients is the only obstacle to this clear solution to eradicating abuse in care homes, then it is easily solved, ask the patients permission first. If they cannot give consent then a close relative should be asked.
If you think this is a worth while suggestion, why don't you write to your local media or government representative and see if we can remove this form of abuse once and for all!

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Posted to ProBlogs.com on Sunday, December 16, 2007
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