CCTV for Care Homes
An increasing number of care homes are being called to account for the lack of adequate security on their premises. As technology advances, the expectations on care homes to modernise their security systems is increasing, not just from the regulators but also from residents and their families.
The use of CCTV and Access Control systems and the advanced technologies they employ can lead to much improved protection of your residents and their belongings, as well as for your staff, premises and assets.
Take Full Control of Your Premises
Care homes can be an attractive target for intruders: frail residents, significant stores of medications and an array of personal possessions make them the ideal place for an opportunistic thief; and as many care homes have unsupervised receptions, your residents and staff are vulnerable to attack as well as theft.
Access Control systems can put an end to this threat by using a range of technologies to prevent unauthorised access to your premises. Whether you choose keypad door controls, proximity swipe cards or a biometric fingerprint device, you can have real control over who has access to your premises. If you use an integrated CCTV and Access Control System you can even visually check who is trying to enter your premises before allowing them access and this can be done remotely without even having to physically open the door.
Modern Access Control systems don’t simply cover the entrances to your premises, they also let you control, on a person by person basis, where anyone can have access to. From a health and safety perspective this can have real benefits: residents can be kept away from hazardous areas, unauthorised staff can be prevented from accessing medicines or sensitive data and visitors can have their movements restricted unless accompanied by a resident or member of staff. Anyone working temporarily on your site, such as an electrician, can be given an access card which will restrict their movements and stop giving access completely when their work on your premises ends.
Besides stopping people getting in, Access Control systems can also stop those who fall under the auspices of the Deprivation of Liberties Safeguards from the risks of wandering off. Modern systems will even allow you to install Access Control devices on gates, letting these residents enjoy your gardens without having to worry about them leaving the actual premises.
The more sophisticated Access Control systems are able to integrate with your existing systems. With Nurse Call systems, for example, as soon as a resident calls for help, the door to the room they are in can be opened automatically to speed up response times.
From a security point of view, perhaps the most dangerous situation a care home would need to deal with is a fire. In the case of fire, a modern Access Control system can immediately change all access rights, giving every individual the quickest and safest route to the muster area; on top of this, it can tell where each individual is in the building so that assistance can be given to help people get out. If the Access Control system is integrated with CCTV, the modern CCTV systems can count how many people have congregated in the muster area or can help track them in the building. As a result, the chances of getting frail and elderly people to safety in an emergency are massively improved.
The ability of Access Control systems to log data means owners can accurately monitor a wide range of events. They can record when staff arrive and leave the premises, helping them to make sure staff are paid accurately and that they are working the hours set down in their contracts; if there are agreed staff to resident ratio numbers, an alarm can be given if this is not met so that it can be rectified; if there are any complaints about an incident, the Access Control log can be used to determine who was in the area at the time. In this sense, Access Control becomes an ideal management tool to make the care home more efficiently run and a better place for your residents to live.
CCTV in Care Homes
The rules on the use of CCTV in care homes have changed dramatically over the last few years, the most significant change being that they are no longer restricted just to the entrance and outside of the building. As a result, many care homes are now installing internal CCTV systems.
Externally, CCTV systems remain one of the most powerful deterrents to intruders and thieves, offering 24-7 monitoring and recording of your premises. Recent improvements in technology means they can now carry out far more sophisticated monitoring which can make the security of your residents, staff and premises far more robust.
The software used by CCTV systems can now automatically analyse what is being recorded and is able to identify suspicious behaviour and send an immediate alarm to your key staff, your security personnel or even the police. This can be done without the need to have someone constantly watching the screen; indeed, if you don’t have the resources to employ your own security personnel, modern systems can be monitored for you at your security provider’s monitoring centre.
Modern systems can zoom in on individuals and even count the number of people present. Cameras across your system can be linked so that intruders can be tracked and recorded from the moment they enter your grounds. You can also use audio systems to warn intruders that you are aware of their presence, that they are being filmed and that the police have been called.
CCTV systems like these don’t just ensure care home owners fulfil their duty of care to residents and employees, but they also make the care home more appealing to residents and their relatives who increasingly want these security solutions to make them feel safe.
The ability of residents to feel safe inside care homes is also an important factor. Whilst incidents of abuse are rare and the vast majority of care home workers are caring professionals, recent high profile cases have led to an increased fear of abuse in residential care homes. As a result, there are tighter regulations, more rigorous inspections and a growing demand for compulsory CCTV monitoring.
CCTV’s ability to monitor staff can be beneficial. Not only is it a deterrent to abusive staff and a tool which can allow abuse to be spotted, recorded and dealt with, but it also brings with it other benefits: primarily, relatives of residents in homes where CCTV is installed will be much less likely to install their own hidden surveillance equipment, reducing the possibility of them illegally recording other residents. CCTV also reduces the need for whistleblowing and the negative effects this can have on staff and staff morale.
In addition: owners and managers can monitor everyday procedures and use it to identify areas where improvements can be made; CCTV operators can see if residents are in need or discomfort and send staff to help them immediately, quickening response times; and by using CCTV to monitor residents from a distance rather than having a member of staff present in the room, those residents who are able, can be supported in their right to independence.
If you own or manage a care home and would like more information about how CCTV and Access Control systems can help you, please contact us at 247 Secure.