Controversial plan to put cameras in care homes after abuse case

Rita Page and Lynette Crook abusing Daniel Moran in the secretly filmed footage. Picture from ITV News video.

Rita Page and Lynette Crook abusing Daniel Moran in the secretly filmed footage. Picture from ITV News video.

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A CONTROVERSIAL consultation to put cameras in care homes has been welcomed by the family of a man who was abused in a Bury specialist hospital.

Workers’ union GMB are in talks with members in all HC-One care homes, including Rose Court in Water Street, Radcliffe, about the installation of visible CCTV cameras.

HC-One’s proposal would see all its care facilities offer an opt-in scheme where residents and their relatives can ask for cameras to be placed in their rooms.

The provider, which could be the first in the country to implement the scheme, is consulting residents, their families and staff.

In May this year, two care workers were jailed for seven months each after they were filmed verbally abusing and slapping 23-year-old Danny Moran at the Priory Highbank Centre in Walmersley Road.

Rita Page, aged 69, and Lynette Crook, aged 33, were caught mistreating Mr Moran when his family installed a secret camera in his room.

Mr Moran, from Halewood, had lived at The Priory since January, 2009, after being left brain damaged in a car crash in April, 2008, when he was aged 17.

His family are now calling for fixed cameras to monitor incapacitated patients 24 hours a day.

Jim Moran, Danny’s uncle, said he welcomed the consultation. He said: “Why do these dreadful cases of abuse in care homes come to light?

"Simply because someone had enough concern, that something was not quite right.

"Why do people who install these cameras feel the need to resort to covert surveillance, as was the case for our family?

“Simply because nobody was listening to their concerns and it was a last resort, a cry for help.

“How many people without a voice are being abused in caring institutions today? Place a camera on them 24 hours a day — the cost is negligible but the results are life-changing.”

HC-One is Britain’s third largest care home provider and 6,000 GMB members look after vulnerable and elderly people in its 227 homes.

HC-One’s chairman, Dr Chai Patel, said: “As an organisation, and as a sector, we need to tackle the problem of abuse once and for all.

"Placing cameras in care homes can only help protect the wellbeing and dignity of those we support.

"We hope that, as a society, we can start an open and honest debate on this most vital issue.”

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer for the care sector, said “The care and safety of residents and the rights to privacy of staff and residents are both very important and rightly raise strong feelings. Such a big step, therefore, requires very careful consideration.

“HC-One has been the first major care home operator to consider the introduction of visible cameras in residents bedrooms and has wisely approached this with caution.”

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