Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

14th July 2020

Can family members install a hidden camera?

A family member put a hidden camera in a service users bedroom without informing the carers or the company. Is this allowed?

Dear D

Thank you for your email. The law here is complex.Before I address the issue of the camera being allowed, it may be helpful for you to find out first why the family member installed the camera in the first place. If they have specific concerns, it is important that they feel they can raise these concerns and action is taken if required. If they do not feel they can raise them with you, they can go directly to CQC with their concern. CQC has published guidance for the public on covert cameras, that can be accessed here. In terms of the hidden camera being allowed, several things need to be considered. The first is, does the service user have the capacity to give consent to the camera? If they cannot consent was the decision made in the best interests of the service user. Given that the camera is in the bedroom, is it going to be streaming all the time and what is the impact on the service user’s privacy? From your point of view as a provider, you will need to consider what your policy is on hidden cameras. If you discuss the cameras with the family, it is worth asking how the camera is being used, who can view the footage and how is it being stored. I would also suggest speaking to the safeguarding adult team at your local authority, even if the care is not arranged through them, they will be able to give advice and provide support with this. I hope this helps

*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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