Exploring CCTV in Residential Care Homes: A Board Member’s Perspective

Written By Andy Baker  |  PMOV, Uncategorized  |  0 Comments

On May 30th, Andy Baker, a valued board member of the Institute of Conflict Management (ICM), attended a pivotal roundtable event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Buckinghamshire. This event, hosted by Jayne Connery, Director of the Care Campaign for the Vulnerable (CCFTV), focused on Safety Monitoring in Care Homes. The discussions centred on the use of CCTV in residential care settings, particularly for dementia care, and aimed to address the balance between safety and privacy.

Initial Concerns: Trust and Human Rights

Andy Baker approached the event with interest knowing that CCTV has been demonstrated to reduce workplace violence in some situations and settings but was unsure on how that would transfer to the care home environment. As a representative of the ICM board, he was interested in exploring how monitoring systems could be integral to reducing risks of violence from staff to residents, resident to resident and also resident to staff.

Of course, there are many potential benefits to using CCTV as a control measure including deterrent to violence, incident evidence, and post-incident reflection, learning and improvements. However, Andy also put forward several concerns about the implications of CCTV in care homes. His primary apprehensions were:

Interpretation: CCTV can show an event but doesn’t always offer an accurate representation of the whole event as its from one angle, often has no sound and may not capture everything.

Safe use: How the system would be monitored, managed and meet legal standards.

Human Rights: The idea of constant surveillance in what is essentially someone’s home raised potential human rights concerns, especially regarding privacy and the concerns of any blanket restriction.

Trust Issues: Andy worried that implementing CCTV carried the risk of demonising care staff and had the potential to erode the trust between the care environment and the carer which is essential for a positive caregiving environment.

Addressing the Concerns: Proportionality Based on Risk

The roundtable provided a platform for Andy and other participants to engage in meaningful dialogue about these issues. The event featured insightful opinions from various care leaders and experts, including: Martin Green OBE, Care England, Nadra Ahmed CBE, Co-Chair National Care Association, Kay Cox, CEO  and Vishul Seewoolall  from Signature Senior Living.

The technology proposed by Care Protect was extremely interesting and was a clever approach that allowed proportionate monitoring but also an ongoing deterrent. Paul Farmer from Care Protect detailed the benefits of advanced safety monitoring technology in dementia care communities. He emphasised the limitations of traditional monitoring methods and showcased how independent safety monitoring, managed by healthcare professionals, can ensure continuous oversight and ongoing improvements in practice.

The system Paul proposed is extremely person focused and monitoring is based on risk assessments, consent and best-interest decisions. The care Protect system is far from the typical perception of a CCTV control room where a staff member watches multiple screens monitoring for any wrongdoing. The care Protect system ( which from reports is the only version of its type in the world currently) hard wires and encrypts all CCTV data and recorded footage is only kept for 30 days. The footage is stored off-site and can only be requested by the care home based on GDPR-compliant requests. The footage is independently checked by independent external trained health or social care experienced professionals on a random sampling basis (based on risk analysis). They check at key times (during personal care, manual handling etc for good and poor practice and feed concerns but also examples of positive practice back to the care home to act on.

The incident requests can include falls, allowing the provider to check on causes and monitor for improvements, but they can also check on incidents of violence, whether incidents aimed towards residents or care staff. They can also access footage to confirm or deny allegations made towards staff.

It can be common for individuals with dementia to become distressed and some may lash out in anger or fear and others may make allegations towards staff from a place of confusion rather than malice. The CCTV footage can look for good practice or confirm safeguarding issues and genuine bad practice or abuse but can also back up the staff’s actions or confirm their innocence.

The discussions underscored several key benefits of independent safety monitoring systems:

Accountability and Transparency: Independent monitoring can build trust with families and regulatory bodies by demonstrating a commitment to high standards of care.

Improved Care Practices: Data from these systems can help train staff and identify areas needing improvement.

Protection for those living with dementia, family and care staff: In dementia care, where residents may exhibit sudden behavioural changes, distress or confusion, the system allows for accurate information on the facts of a situation to ensure safety and justice are maintained.

Collaborative Efforts and Future Initiatives

The roundtable explored ongoing pilot projects where CCFTV and care providers are working together to implement and test these monitoring systems. These pilots are vital for gathering data and refining the technology to ensure its effectiveness in real-world settings.

Signature Senior Living, a large care provider, has been using the care protect system in several homes and has so far found the system invaluable. Despite initial apprehension from families and care staff, the general response is now one of absolute support and celebration for the improvements the system is making to the culture of the setting, the positive practice of staff and the improved outcomes for those living in the home.


The Safety Monitoring in Care Homes Roundtable, hosted by CCFTV, was a resounding success. It highlighted the potential of independent safety monitoring to revolutionise care standards, especially in dementia care communities. For Andy Baker and other participants, the event provided reassurance that with careful implementation, CCTV can enhance safety without compromising trust or human rights.

The ICM is committed to supporting initiatives that balance safety with respect for individual rights and improve the prevention and management of workplace violence. The ICM will continue to explore the safety monitoring systems being proposed and offer their insights into positive strategies to improve safety and best practice.