FITTING every care home in Britain with CCTV could save the cash-strapped NHS £370million a year, it was claimed yesterday.
By GILES SHELDRICKPUBLISHED: 07:08, Mon, Jun 17, 2019 | UPDATED: 07:28, Mon, Jun 17, 2019
The move would see staff not needing to call 999 every time a resident suffers an unwitnessed fall. One home boss said he has saved the NHS £50,000 this year by installing CCTV as he has not had to summon ambulances on all but three of 119 occasions. If this pattern was replicated in all 11,300 UK care homes it would equal a potential saving of more than £1million a day. Andrew Geach, who runs Shedfield Lodge Care Home in Southampton, said: "It's a mind-blowing figure but it's real money which could be ploughed back into social care. Most who suffer unwitnessed falls end up coming back to homes in the early hours with no injuries at all. With safety monitoring, everyone wins." Protocol requires care homes to call an ambulance, every time there is an unwitnessed fall because it could lead to a potentially serious head injury.
Each time it has cost taxpayers around £420. The expense does not include time spent in hospital and the care provided.
Shedfield Lodge installed 21 cameras covering all communal areas, exits and outside areas.
Mr Geach, who is backing a push by Care Campaignfor the Vulnerable for a new law to make CCTV compulsory in all care homes, said there have been numerous occasions where cameras have provided instant answers to questions that would have only been resolved after a resident had been admitted.
He said: "Safety monitoring is good at picking up abuse but this is not all about abuse. Only once in seven years have I had to use it for that reason.
Mr Hancock, who backed the Daily Express Respect for the Elderly campaign, is the first government minister to publicly support safety monitoring.
It has led to hope the measure will be included in the long-awaited social care green paper to tackle the crisis in adult social care.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: "Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of those in care should be the highest of priorities.
"We will consider any schemes which have the potential to help reduce pressures on the NHS and improve people's lives."
Copyright: Express Newspapers