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Audio-recording your consultations with NHS doctors


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Hello chaps. For reasons to do with my health, I don't visit here as much as I would like but I am seeing that audio recording medical consultations is like some supertanker which is slowly but inexorably being turned around. It's not there yet but all the momentum is in the right direction. I can afford myself a smile!

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Sorry – it's just that someone just message me and asked me to open this thread because they wanted to add some information.

Hello shallowthought9 and welcome to this thread. For what it is worth I think that in the light of the clearly disgraceful way your (former)  behaved it is very generous of you to contribute to a thr

Good to hear from you again, My Turn. I hope you are recovering.

 

In case you haven't had a chance to catch up, perhaps I could draw your attention to Prof. Glyn Elwyn's new venture "#patientpref", staring next Friday evening. Post #948 refers.

 

I am not 100% sure I can attend the 'tweet chat' myself, but I wonder if you would like the chance to talk online with the chap who made 'My Turn's Manoeuvre' famous.

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Assume I am recording a consultation without informing the doctor and the doctor then asks "Are you recording this?".

 

If I chose to say "no" to the doctor, would I have prevented myself from using the recording as evidence?

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Does the following info written by Wadhwa and Peter in the Quick Responses section on the BMJ say that covert recordings can be made by medical professionals of a patient consultation? I wasn't aware of that.

 

The quotation is taken from http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.g7645/rapid-responses

 

We found that 71% of doctors knew that patients could legally record consultations, while only 29% knew that patients could covertly make recordings.

 

Ninety two percent were aware that doctors could record consultations with consent, whilst only 25% were aware that there are specific circumstances where covert recordings can be made.

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Re #954:-

 

Courts and tribunals have a wide discretion to admit recorded evidence in civil cases if genuinely relevant to matters in dispute, and I am not aware of any rule of law which would automatically preclude consideration of such evidence merely because the recording party to a conversation had denied the activity during it.

 

However, one can readily imagine me-laddo\laddette counsel for the doctor claiming that the denial represented part of some contrivance, or manipulation of the discourse, in an attempt to discredit the patient and reduce the value placed on the evidence adduced.

 

To counterbalance that, as things stand at present, I think a well-advised patient would point to the evidence of the number of doctors who still think they are entitled to ban either the patient or the activity (as discovered by the MPS recently, for instance) and point out it was necessary to conceal the recording to protect one's healthcare.

 

Still, it might be better all told to deflect the question with a 'non-answer' in the first place. Like, 'that's not something I choose to discuss', or 'I believe doctors should always behave as if they were being recorded'.

 

I am sure others could think up a string of these, and it would be useful to have a prepared version ready.

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Re #955.

 

My Turn. The GMC updated their rules about the recording of patients by doctors a couple of years ago. Here are the bits about covert recording by doctors:-

 

Making recordings covertly

 

54 Covert recordings should be undertaken only where there is no other way of obtaining information which is necessary to investigate or prosecute a serious crime, or to protect someone from serious harm. This might arise in cases where there are grounds to suspect that a child is being harmed by a parent or carer. Before any covert recording can be carried out, authorisation must be sought from a relevant body in accordance with the law. If you consider making covert recordings, you must discuss this with colleagues, your employing or contracting body, and relevant agencies, except where this would undermine the purpose of the recording, in which case you should seek independent advice. You must follow national or local guidance. In most circumstances, covert recordings should be carried out by the police.

 

55 Covert recordings will fall within the scope of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 or the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000, where it is used by a public body, such as an NHS body or those contracted to, or employed by, an NHS body. If circumstances arise where you might be involved in covert recordings you must ensure that you comply with the requirements of the relevant Act.

 

From:-

http://www.gmc-uk.org/Making_and_using_visual_and_audio_recordings_of_patients.pdf_58838365.pdf

 

(Compare the editorial linked back at #123 which appeared in the Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners (1975, 25, 705-707.706) entitled “Tape Recording Consutations”.

 

"There are, however, some general-practitioner teachers who do not ask for consent and who do not even tell the patient that the consultation is being recorded. These doctors, who include some of the leading authorities in the country, argue that the record of such a consultation is no more the patient's property than is the medical record."

 

ref:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...00298-0006.pdf)

 

 

It may be helpful to read the current recording guidance in tandem withe the GMC's 'confidentiality' guidance. There is a surprising number of instances where the oh-so-confidential discussion turns out not to be so confidential after all - and that's before it all gets handed to the "HSCIC" courtesy of the "care.data" project:-

 

http://www.gmc-uk.org/static/documents/content/Confidentiality_-_English_0914.pdf

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It's somewhat eleventh hour, but someone has just been kind enough to put me straight about USA Eastern Time and GMT. Were are currently – and will be tomorrow – only four decades ahead of America in terms of scepticism about religion, and only four hours ahead on the clock.

 

Amongst other things, this means that Prof. G. Elwyn's \The Dartmouth Institute's 'tweetchat' about recording of medical encounters by patients, lasting only 60 minutes, will start at 6.00pm tomorrow Friday the 13th of March, UK time (not at 7.00pm as I had previously thought).

 

The vital hashtag is: " #patientpref ". Be there or be square.

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I don't know what objective criteria should apply to judge the 'success' of a 'tweetchat'. As I have acknowledged before I am a totally novice tweeter.

 

Yet I thought that the #patientpref discussion about recording by patients earlier today was an absolute storm of a success. I have seldom found an hour go so quickly.

 

For the butter-hoofed and optically-challenged like me, it was difficult to get a point in half-relevant to the pace of the discussion, but I still found it great fun, and very informative. And I managed to get a CAG credit into the story.

 

People can check out the whole picture here:

https://twitter.com/hashtag/patientpref?f=realtime&src=hash

 

I hope to come back to specific points in that discussion.

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Although I can make the occasional tweet and also managed to get my slow PC to use the mobile version of Twitter, in the end I found I didn't know how to view a TweetChat and had no idea how to take part.

 

The link giving the whole picture doesn't seem to load properly https://twitter.com/hashtag/patientpref?f=realtime&src=hash. However I saw a link to something called Symplur which displayed a lengthy discussion about something else entirely called Lown2015. Can Symplur be made to display the whole patient recording TweetChat?

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My Turn.

 

I found this ("storify") link recently posted elsewhere. It provides an edited version of the chat without 'sub-chats' which I find a bit clearer:-

 

http://bit.ly/1DtuPTu

 

although one or two of the comments I most liked have vanished.

 

Even so, on my PC you have to scroll down very slowly to allow the page to keep re-loading.

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One advantage of not be able to make the time to look at much detail of a subject for a while is that you find out what remains salient in your mind from the last moment you did. The Dartmouth 'Tweetchat' was a week ago and, for what it may be worth, these were the points which most returned to my thoughts during that week , and today:-

 

A. The notion of doctors asserting 'for your-own-good paternalism\secrecy': 'HAS to be killed off', and have its 'body buried in the woods'. (In my view, preferably along with the less metaphorical bodies of its proponents: are you listening, Chuckles Buckman?)

 

B. The idea that as jurisdictions move to greater accessibility\transparency of medical records for patients, the taking of audio recordings will act in tandem with that shift of approach. (I strongly agree that for the pro-active patient these things go hand in hand.) It 'challenges the ceremonial order of the clinic.'

 

C. The recognition that while research to date may indicate that some doctors feel 'threatened' ' by patients recording, the answer to this is simply "GET OVER IT"! (Heart-warming).

 

D. An assertion about ongoing research. (Sure, it would be very positive and useful, at a research level, to try explore the number of different ways patients find recordings useful, and to try devise methods of assessing any improvements in clinical outcomes resulting from the practice. I hope and expect the Dartmouth people will have plenty more to say about that in due course. )

 

But as for right now, and as you, whether a patient or doctor, enter your next consultation, the star-quote prize, in my view, goes to the splendidly-named R Paradis Montibello. She said:-

 

"If recording helps patient feel empowered, informed, more of a partner in their care, isn't that enough?"

 

In my opinion, it most certainly should be.

 

(For source of quotes see #patientpref at 13 03 2015)

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Assume I am recording a consultation without informing the doctor and the doctor then asks "Are you recording this?".

 

If I chose to say "no" to the doctor, would I have prevented myself from using the recording as evidence?

 

MyTurn, sorry to hear you've been poorly. I hope you are feeling better.

 

I think, if you answered no and the doctor went on to fall below the standards of what is acceptable either in clinical treatment or advice, the recording would, I hope and (fingers crossed) believe, still be valid as evidence. However, as Nolegion points out the law is not always fair and just. I hope the question is never asked of me, because however well I may have rehearsed, I do not lie well. I only covertly record because I am afraid of the rancour I, or those I love, may be subjected to if I declared my intent.

 

 

I read through a few of the tweets Nolegion.

 

Majorie Stiegler, MD says 'Without trust, no true relationship. Recording is fine, secretly is not.' Well, I'm not looking for a relationship with my medic, who I may just have met, although competency would be good. I would ask Dr Stiegler what she would do differently if she was overtly recorded? Hopefully, nothing.

 

Aileen Lem says that 'over treatmentand over diagnosis is a risk,' but I question if there is such a thing in the context of recording consultations? You could argue that advancing technology can lead to over-diagnosis and treatment (more sophisticated MRI scanners that detect smaller tumours that perhaps would never have caused an issue within a normal life-time) but this is unavoidable. My expectation is that a clinician does all they can to diagnose and treat the patient whilst keeping them informed of their options, being open and honest at all times. The reality has not matched my expectations and for that reason I will continue to covertly record.

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I was delighted to learn from my son the other day that the expression "IRL" is still in use amongst his generation, as it was in mine all those years ago when the internet first really 'took off'. For the uninitiate, it means 'In Real Life' and is perhaps most frequently employed to refer to our activities in contrast to, and when we are NOT engrossed in, electronic communication.

 

I would like to pick up a point made by Sali in the last post here. I have said this before but, for any more recent viewers, I consider that the logic of thinking, " I will not declare my recording because it might jeopardise my healthcare," is impeccable. Cannot be argued against.

 

In my particular case, I do the reverse, BUT, "IRL", if anyone confers with me on the subject I advise them to think, very, very carefully about whether they want to show their hand in my fashion. I have said that no doctors have mucked me about during consultation because of this – they don't dare – but that doesn't mean to say I haven't had to fight wearisome battles against silly, snide and would-be obstructive behaviour OUTSIDE consultation to make sure that my election remains untrammelled.

 

One day I will publish a compendium, complete with names and faces, of every wretched little jerk's attempt to cross swords with me on the subject and fruity examples of how they perished in conflict and severe pain. Nemo me impune lacessit. Something to look forward to.

………………………………………………………………………………

 

There is, of course, also the very serious case of what one should do if one has responsibility for the healthcare of vulnerable 'others'. There I think Sali's principle MUST apply.

 

I have two highly vulnerable relatives with dementia and 'in care'. If I was concerned about their treatment, it would be very wrong of me, I feel, to tell the management of the home that I was, say, putting in a surveillance camera. It would be essential that that was done covertly.

 

Notification to management would mean notification to staff, and if one happened to be a spiteful, callous bully of an abusing 'carer' what would one's next move be? To take it out on the care home resident, of course, carefully 'out of shot' – in a resident's bathroom, say, or a corridor.

 

No care home operator has the authority to interfere with the personal property rights of residents or their relatives, so any 'searching for', let alone removal of such equipment would almost certainly be illegal. Visiting, caring, relatives are precisely the people who are in a position to make 'best interests' decisions under the Mental Capacity Act for those residents who lack the capacity to make such a monitoring decision let alone implement it – so there is no realistic 'consent' issue involved, even if you don't happen to wield powers of attorney and court of protection deputy status as I do in respective of my relatives.

 

And it would be grotesque for a care home operator to pretend that IT had the right to make a 'best interests' decision in conflict with such relatives and remove a camera if discovered . Who the hell else would have installed such a camera apart from the resident or their relatives? Would they genuinely fear that they might have let some stray and perverted stranger into their residents' bedrooms?

 

Every legal and logical argument supports the right of relatives so to proceed – as even the fatuous blatherings of the CQC could not deny.

 

So what could go wrong?

 

Absolutely EVERYTHING, if you have the pitiable misfortune to have relatives under the 'care' of a very large, and clearly utterly disgraceful, organisation called SHAW HEALTHCARE. Please see my next post (in due course, and after I have drawn a few breaths). Meanwhile, you can see what I am going to go on about here:-

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3011358/Anger-scandal-hit-care-home-workers-filmed-abusing-elderly-dementia-sufferer-bans-relatives-installing-hidden-cameras.html

 

If anyone wants to comment before I get round to it, please don't wait on me. This is a company which has just shot itself in the foot and I hope it bleeds to death.

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Well, after the confusing guidelines from the CQC on recording, it was only a matter of time before this kind of thing happened.

 

It seems to me that Shaw Healthcare have been found severely wanting and rather than hanging their heads in shame, begging the victims and their relative for forgiveness and putting measures in place to ensure that this kind of abuse is never repeated, they go on the attack, wishing to hide their incompetence behind the flimsy excuse of legal issues around people being filmed (and here we know they speak of the staff not the vulnerable residents who they are quite happy to fleece), without their consent. Families will only really resort to covert filming if they are uneasy about the care of their loved-one. I already know the repercussions of complaining (you think justly and constructively) in a hospital setting and the heightened risk to the patient. I believe any kind and efficient carer would NEVER object to being covertly filmed. Any care home or healthcare organisation wanting to provide the best service and care would have nothing to fear.

 

The sentences for those found guilty were also pathetic. Was the care home or Shaw Healthcare fined at all?

 

It will be an interesting case to follow.

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Agreed, Sali, and thank you for succinctly making a point I was eventually going to get round to. Yes, I think one can draw a straight line between the CQC's incompetence and the disgraceful behaviour of bullying care home operators Shaw Healthcare.

 

I have been a bit pressed for time of late but I hope to come back to Shaw, in very considerable and documented detail, over this Easter break.

 

Just in case that doesn't happen, I think I will share one further detail at this point to give Shaw – who are watching this thread intently – something to think about over the same period.

 

Their 'announcement' to relatives of their new 'policy' (on Sunday March 22nd) was made in a smug, hectoring – indeed bullying - fashion. The nasty little operative who did this tried to make jokes about the fact he was really following, by i-phone, the score of a football match taking place at the same time. He frequently interrupted the attempts of the room to contradict him, to drown out very hostile criticism. He told everyone that if they didn't like it they would just have 'agree to disagree'.

 

How do I know this? Well, Shaw, the family principally concerned is very far from having finished sharing with media (whom you are now, with risible absence of grounds, 'threatening' to sue) all their information on this matter. But they are happy for me to announce the following at this stage: your attempt to force a ban on covert recording was itself covertly audio recorded.

 

The irony of this will not be lost on readers here.

 

Want to make any more 'jokes' or 'threats', Shaw?

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I went to see the film "STILL ALICE" last week. It is a beautifully-crafted, excellently-acted and very, very sad, poignant, piece of work about early-onset dementia. All the cinema audience sat in still silence for quite a while when the film ended before moving very slowly and quietly away. It's been haunting the back of my mind, ever since.

 

I won't give the plot away, but the conclusion of the story reminds me of the end of Larkin's poem: An Arundel Tomb: '…to prove \Our almost-instinct almost true:\What will survive of us is love'.

 

But enough of that. For now I intend to seek safety in battle: concerning Shaw Healthcare and "Policy No. 77" (The recording ban). 'Catchy' that 'policy title', eh? All Shaw's own work.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

 

I gave a link earlier to the Daily Mail online article which appeared on Wed 25th March. In between Shaw's announcement of their policy on Sunday 22 March to some astonished and angry relatives and the Mail article, the story was all over the Bristol region's local news.

 

Not surprising really. Not only had the original, shocking abuse of an elderly lady at the Granary, Wraxall by Shaw Healthcare staff been making the local news for over a year up to and including three of them collecting criminal convictions in June 2014, but Bristol is \was also home to the Winterbourne View debacle. Parallels were drawn, and people just don't forget the horrible abuse shown in covert recordings in both cases.

 

I understand that within hours of the 'announcement meeting' the family who 'went to the media' was spoiled for choice amongst those who wished to report on it; and that some of that press interest remains, with offers to do further detailed coverage if or when there any further developments. Well there has been some, in the shape of a further communication from Shaw's chief executive (and principal shareholder) to all relatives of those residing at the Granary. That letter is scarcely less astonishingly arrogant than the original announcement, and I will be posting a copy of it here in due course, for people to see what I mean.

 

For the meanwhile however, I am posting by attachment here a full copy of Shaw's 'Policy 77' sprung on unsuspecting relatives the Sunday before last. It is the same document as you see one of the relatives handing to the 'Points West' interviewer, Matthew Hill in the youtube clip below. It's a revolting document in its entirety, but perhaps I may suggest you refer primarily to para no. 3 on page 3 of the document should you get around actually to opening it.

 

Couple of further points at this stage:-

 

First, I know many people don't look at attachments anyway, but I thought it would be fair to all concerned to give a complete version here since I am going to say highly critical things about it, and about Shaw in connection with it.

 

Second, it's dated October 2014 but they have only just tried to swing it on relatives. They waited, of course, until the ineffectual CQC had finished their protracted blatherings on the subject, which wasn't until in February of this year, as discussed at some length in this thread before. (And see Sali's earlier point about this exact angle.)

 

Points West:-

 

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Shaw Healthcare (Cont'd)

 

And that was only the TV coverage. Heather Pickstock of the Bristol Post wrote a very good piece on the subject, and most of the rest of the newspaper print that followed (including the Daily Mail's) was a re-hash of hers. But the coverage was indeed extensive i.e other local papers, another BBC publication, online articles and the Mirror.

 

I link the Bristol Post's article below not just because Heather Pickstock deserves such credit as I can offer, but because I want to refer to some of the comments readers added to it, starting with the last couple (Nos 16 & 17 , first):-

 

17 comments

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Jimbo1969 | Wednesday, March 25 2015, 12:10PM

 

Hi DockLobster, It's not just a question of placing relatives there, residents are already there. It is not easy to move a loved who's elderly let alone people who have one of the conditions that this home accommodates, it would most likely cause great distress to the resident and the relative.

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DockLobster | Wednesday, March 25 2015, 11:32PM

 

Surely no-one would place a relative in this home anyway?

 

Read more: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Care-home-abuse-caught-hidden-camera-bans-hidden/story-26224600-detail/story.html#ixzz3WMjVCxoy

Follow us: @BristolPost on Twitter | bristolpost on Facebook

 

In my view, the above exchange succinctly covers part of a desperately important point about 'bullying' by any alleged provider of care; and by that I mean – and very deliberately choose the expression – 'bullying' of both the patient (i.e physically and mentally as already, undeniably, horrendously shown) and, also, very importantly and as it were vicariously, of relatives in terms of horrible stress and attempts to silence complaints and exposure.

 

This applies of course to many situations, not just the particular disgraceful behaviour of Shaw Healthcare which I am keeping under review. But, truly, I know the anxiety referred to in the context of my own relatives, very keenly indeed – as, I know, other contributors here do, and other highly relevant 'relatives'.

 

As many find out, getting relatives with dementia into appropriate care can be a protracted, complicated and very stressful process. In our case we had the further problem of two family members with separate homes each developing a different type of dementia at the same time. Was there a place which could offer the right service for both of their (then) varying needs? Where could we find a home with capacity to take in both at the same time? Could we keep them both within in easy reach of other family members (such as me) and loyal friends who despite my relatives' ever decreasing powers of recognition and ability to respond have kindly, and assiduously kept on visiting?

 

And to what extent did we really have control of proceedings in any event? They both wound up (first) in different parts of the same hospital and in each of their cases we were TOLD that there was NO chance of any type of independent (i.e domestic) living for them in the future. They would ONLY be released into 'residential' round-the-clock nursing care. Oh and by the way we have done the assessing, so now we want our hospital beds back, like NOW.

 

And what about the contractual\funding negotiations. My sister, it transpired, was eligible for 'continuing care', so the paying end of any arrangement would be a carve-up between the NHS and the local authority. But we have never signed any contract for my sister's care. We have never even been invited to participate in discussions about such legalities In contrast, my mother is, a 'self-funder' out of rapidly decreasing assets in the face of fierce ongoing care home charges. Therefore, in her case we have more than just a mere shout (as powers of attorney). But she wants to stay close by her dying daughter; without that I think she would lose the will to live, – so to a considerable extent are hands are tied.

 

And all or most of this the above would or could effectively apply to a 'move'.

 

I narrate the foregoing because I want to reinforce the truth of Jimbo1969's comment 17 in the Bristol Post above. If you 'move' the settled elderly who need nursing care, they don't just 'ail' they die. My other sister used to work for many years in care home administration and she told me that even moving a handful of residents from one part of a 'complex' to another – perhaps for well-intended administrative reasons -that increases the mortality rate rate for the residents so moved by a predictable, measurable and significant amount over the ensuing days, weeks and months.

 

Imagine the horrible stress for the relatives of residents at this care home, the Granary, Wraxall, right now. One would scarcely be surprised if their detestation of bullying Shaw healthcare had been irrevocably finalised by Shaw's disgusting manoeuvre 2 weeks ago. But what are their options? What a desperate position to be put in.

 

And of course, Shaw knows all this. It knows that loving, caring relatives very anxious to keep on making best interest decisions for their family , cannot just immediately vote with their feet. That is why they had no consultation with the relatives whatsoever. They had drafted this policy months ago as their own documentation reveals. They waited to see whether they could drive a coach and horses through any shambolic print issued by the CQC, decided they could and then just 'announced' to relatives about their new 'policy' and made it absolutely clear that if they or their hapless loved ones didn't like it they can just 'lump it'.

 

Obviously, as we all can see from precisely what they now want to ban (covertly recorded footage) they have indeed earned themselves the right to be called, shabby, despicable care home bullies; and in my view – and by golly a lot of others (see the commentary appended to the articles I have linked)- their very behaviour in trying to' ban' confirms that title.

 

They, no doubt, in their grossly arrogant obtuseness, expected to 'get away with it' and say later that no-one objected

 

But it has blown up in their face. There are people out for Shaw's blood, and I think they are going to get it. I think that in terms of protest, expressions of contempt, legal resistance and vigorous exposure the last couple of week have been a stroll in the park. I believe that their 'outing' and disgrace has only just started. I know I am merely on the starting blocks myself.

 

They say they have got their solicitors to write utterly futile 'terrors of the earth' letters to the media. If so, they can only have received contemptuous laughter in response. I am glad to add to any such scorn.

 

To conclude, here's a couple of links link to the chap who covertly recorded his mother being abused by Shaw Heathcare, Mr James Wright, and who (see his other comments in the Bristol Post) is the chap using the handle Jimbo1969. My twin sister and I once had the privilege of shaking his hand and thanking him for what he had done, in public and right under the nose of the manifestly resentful chief executive of Shaw: P. Jeremy" Nasty-Tricks" Nixey , whom he mentions. I'll be coming back to that individual in due course.

 

 

http://www.itv.com/thismorning/hot-topics/care-home-workers-caught-on-camera-abuse

 

(For some reason the 2 clips the first link provides 'segued' into this, totally different matter:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj6r3-sQr58

Cheered up my somewhat embattled life for a moment)

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"Sunday, 22 June 2014

 

Timeto put CCTV cameras in care homes

 

These three men [pictured] were employed by the Shaw Healthcare group as carers at The Granary care home in Wraxall, Somerset.

 

Picture: BBC News

 

 

 

Between September 2012 and January 2013 they were filmed dishing out some seriously vile physical and verbal abuse to a 79 year old woman they were meant to be looking after."

 

…………………………………………………………………..

 

"I am currently dealing with two people who are trying toget their allegations of abuse in two homes taken seriously.

 

They have been documenting mysterious injuries, theft and negligence. Unfortunately, they don't have any footage, and therefore don't have any proof things are going wrong. The management know this, and can paint the complainants as troublemakers."

………………………………………………………………………

 

"A bank wouldn't trust an employee to go into its vaults unmonitored. Yet we are leaving unmotivated, poorly-paid and badly-trained carehome staff alone with the most valuable thing this society has - human lives."

 

Cogent and accurate stuff from Nick Wallis just a few months ago. See full article, here:-

 

http://becarefulwhatyouwishfornickwallis.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/time-to-put-cctv-cameras-in-care-homes.html

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There are a number of points that swirl around my head about Shaw Healthcare's policy on covert video recording.

 

One one hand Shaw Healthcare say it's perfectly ok for them to subject their staff to covert surveilleance if operated by them, but it's not ok for relatives/carers to undertake the same procedure for their loved one? What if a resident refuses to allow Shaw Healthcare to carry out surveillance, covert or otherwise. Will they be given notice to quit? If they are not able to make a decision for themselves, can Shaw Healthcare ignore any power of attorney that may be in place? What about relatives/visitors who do not wish to be filmed by Shaw Healthcare? Will they be denied access?

 

There are methods to detect hidden cameras, but any kind of search of a resident's room for concealed surveillance is, to my mind, a breach of their privacy. Isn't this the kind of thing that prisoners are subjected to? I would also consider the confiscation of such devices as theft.

 

Then there is the legality of imposing a policy on those already resident. As previously stated it is not a welcome prospect to uproot a loved-one from a residence that has been their home when they are in good health, much less so when the individual may suffer from dementia.

 

Any relative who considers underaking covert surveillance will be doing it in the best interests of their loved-one. Personally, if I had a relative in a care home and I was concerned about their welfare, I'd not only install a hidden camera, I'd do it in multiples, streaming the evidence to cloud storage.

 

With the CQC being so woolly, it will probably be that this policy will have to be challenged in court, otherwise it will spread across this sector and beyond.

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Abuse care home operators SHAW HEALTHCARE – how not to make 'policy'

 

I think that 'swirl' is entirely justified, Sali. Shaw Healthcare's documentation and arguments are so amateur\ignorant\self-contradictory one is spoilt for choice as to which feature to mock first or the most strenuously.

 

However, I'm very glad you spotted their coolly making it clear that their staff had no right to complain if, in the performance of their duties, they were covertly recorded (by anyone). That's about the only bit of their 'policy' they got right!

 

The relative interviewed in the news clip, and the chap from the CCTV company brought into comment later, both made the point that looking after the public is not a private job. Plenty of people have been saying you can't plead 'staff privacy rights' in these circumstances and Shaw have just agreed, in public, and big time.

 

However, quite apart from whatever the hell his going on with their nursing staff, Shaw is obviously engaging administrative staff ( such as the self-important little man who is pleased announce himself as the 'author' of this policy – see p 2 of attachment above), of very low grade intelligence and experience.

 

And they couldn't even be bothered to engage a lawyer who actually knows anything about the subject - or even with sufficient knowledge to help them avoid elementary howlers. Such as expressly indicating intended theft; and, as Sali points out, breach of patient\resident privacy and property rights; and automatic interference with manifest best interests decisions already made by next-of-kin, other family members, donees of powers of attorney, and\or court of protection deputies.

 

But the little man with droning voice and clipboard (we've all known some) wanted to show how clever he was by referring (quite fatuously) in the 'policy' to the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act. There was another such who tried much the same in the comments section in the Bristol Post linked above. It didn't go down very well. See the following riposte:-

 

jimotram | Wednesday, March 25 2015, 2:46AM

@ A_Mushroom 11.16 pm 24 03 15.

 

" Nope. Covert recording by or on behalf individuals of how they are treated in their own bedrooms at a care home does not contravene the Data Protection Act (see Section 36 of that Act). Neither does it infringe the Human Rights Act (see, for instance, the review of admissibility of covertly recorded evidence in Amwell View School v Dogherty).

 

Not even Shaw Healthcare or the fence-sitting CQC are trying to pretend that any such legal impediments to the right of individuals to record exist. Further, little of the CQC's delayed, pathetic, muddled, and evasive do[cum]entation – published in two parts in December 2014 and February 2015 can truly be said to represent 'industry guidance' in respect of recording by residents . I suggest one actually reads the documentation, available at the CQC website, to see why that is so.

 

The legal 'issue' – as put forward by Shaw – concerns, principally, the notion of an incapacitated person's 'best interests' as referred to in the Mental Capacity Act. In my view, it is deeply, disgracefully, cynical, for Shaw to claim they can discern that over and above the relatives of care home residents in the context of covert recording by a family for a resident's protection. I believe it to be perfectly clear that what Shaw are doing is looking after their own interests in not being (further) exposed while shamming a legal 'duty'. "

 

Read more: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Care-home-abuse-caught-hidden-camera-bans-hidden/story-26224600-detail/story.html#ixzz3WuOYssKz

Follow us: @BristolPost on Twitter | bristolpost on Facebook

 

Accurate stuff, which in my view, goes hand in hand with this from the tabloid comments:-

 

Roland, Bristol, 2 weeks ago

 

"It would be breathtakingly arrogant for any 'care home' to try introduce such a 'policy'. For a company which had already had abusive 'carers' in its employ successfully prosecuted precisely on the strength of covert surveillance to attempt such an exercise is downright sinister"

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3011358/Anger-scandal-hit-care-home-workers-filmed-abusing-elderly-dementia-sufferer-bans-relatives-installing-hidden-cameras.html#ixzz3WuXgTjjl

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

 

I hope to find time soon to look at even more of the (extensive) evidence of ignorance and, as mentioned earlier, bullying, in what Shaw Healthcare have tried to do – but, in summary for now, in my personal analysis , it’s a trail of all –too-obvious bungling that is indeed very likely to lead them straight into court, as Sali surmised, previous post. And frankly, the sooner the better.

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More on Shaw Healthcare

 

The adenoidal clerk who told astonished and angry relatives last month that without their or their loved ones' permission Shaw Healthcare would be rootling through residents' bedrooms and private personal property, whenever they liked, in search of any concealed recording devices , which they would then remove (and extract any evidence from) – that little twit- also said that of course the latest CQC report on "The Granary", Wraxall was - oh dear - 'a nightmare'. (Exact phrase used.)

 

If I may just emphasise this: the covert recordings taken by the family of Mrs Gladys Wright, which exposed the brutality (leading to the criminal convictions only last summer) were mostly taken in the closing weeks of 2012. Since that time the facility has been re-inspected by both the CQC and the relevant local authority more than once – but the standard of care remains unacceptable in November 2014, which was when the CQC's last inspection was made.

 

And it remains unacceptable across ALL the areas into which the CQC divides its analysis. The ink on the CQC's report finalised and published (in February 2015) was scarcely dry when Shaw's response - at the first relatives meeting since it had been published - was to in behave in the fashion I have described.

 

(Here's a link to full, most recent report on The Granary.

http://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/new_reports/AAAB6528.pdf)

 

An 'unlucky' situation at the Granary, might one say? Just some rare rotten apples? And, after all, there have been examples of very poor 'care' at other care homes\facilities…

 

Well, indeed there have, and let's have look at some of them:-

 

"New Elmcroft ", West Sussex

 

Here's a link which will also lead you to a pretty damning CQC report (25 09 14):-

http://www.carechoices.co.uk/care-home/new-elmcroft-in-shoreham-by-sea-west-sussex/

 

So other people are dishing out poor care, eh? Nah, this home is also run by Shaw Healthcare.

 

So let's try:-

 

The Red Hill Care Centre, Worcester

 

Very worrying:-

 

http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/11524123.Serious_failings_at_care_home/?ref=mr

 

But that would be the Shaw Red Hill Care Centre, now wouldn't it.

 

Not to be confused with the Redwood Care Centre, Guildford

 

http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/cqc-warns-shaw-healthcare-group-limited-they-must-make-improvements

 

The CQC got pretty bold about this one:

 

" 31 January 2014

 

CQC warns provider that it must make improvements When the Care Quality Commission visited Redwood Care Centre unannounced on 20 and 21 November 2013, we found that the service was failing to meet the national standards that people should be able to expect."

 

(It said.) And the 'care provider' is … well, yes, Shaw Healthcare

 

And let's end on a bang- up-to-date note with a CQC report of 9th April 2015 following an inspection of

 

"Thorndale" in Kettering.

 

http://www.cqc.org.uk/search/site/Thorndale?location=&sort=default&la=&distance=15&mode=html

 

From which I extract the following' requires improvement' deliberations by the CQC

 

"Is the service safe?

The service was not always safe.

There were not always enough staff on duty during meal times.

The procedures in place for managing people’s medicines were not always

safe.

People had risk assessments in place however they were not always updated to reflect any changes in risk as they occurred…."

 

" Is the service effective?

The service was nor always effective..."

 

No prizes for guessing the operator of this facility.

…………………………………………………….

 

According to its latest published accounts more than half of Shaw's total annual revenue (£87m) comes from the public purse via the NHS and local authorities.

 

According to the same documents, they were operating 46 care homes in March 2014. At the same date, 25% of their overall facilities (including e.g centres other than care homes) were NOT compliant with essential standards of quality and safety as determined by the CQC or (equivalent regulators in Scotland and Wales.) after their latest inspections.

 

Shaw Healthcare was also carrying a debt burden of £97m (well in excess of its annual turnover ), costing it around £6m a year to service in interest and charges alone.

 

Source:-

 

http://www.shaw.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/october-2014-shaw-healthcare-group-limited.pdf

 

Nightmare Healthcare.

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" Discovering that you have been covertly recorded can be unsettling but the reality is that there is nothing to legally stop patients from doing so, nor is there any need to seek your consent."

……………………………………………

 

"On the final point raised by our member, deregistering a patient for this activity alone does not adhere to NHS contractual obligations or GMC guidance on removal of patients and the usual conditions and processes would apply in this respect.

[emphases mine]

ACTION: Be aware of a patient’s right to record consultations, covertly or overtly, and use this data as they wish. Avoid knee-jerk and negative reactions to these situations."

 

……………………………………………

 

Some very precise and timely reminders for doctors – from the Scottish insurers , MDDUS, published last month

 

See:-

 

http://www.mddus.com/risk-management/risk-alerts/2015/march/covert-recording-of-consultations/

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That MDDUS article above seems to have struck home.

 

An article appeared in yesterday's 'PULSE' (mainstream online e-rag for GPs, 'At the heart of general practice since 1960') about a new 'counselling service' for GPs.

 

It didn't attract any commentary until the evening, when:

 

Una Coales | Other healthcare professional | 23 April 2015 7:53pm:-

 

"No amount of counselling will alleviate the new risks GPs face with covert recording of consultations by patients..."

 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/regulation/gp-counselling-service-should-be-rolled-out-nationwide-says-new-gmc-chair/1/20009803.article?&PageNo=1&SortOrder=dateadded&PageSize=10#comments

 

LOL: The "new risks"! ? How was that decade-long sabbatical on Mars, eh, Una?

 

And that, as you can see, substantially shifted the focus of many ensuing comments.

 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/regulation/gp-counselling-service-should-be-rolled-out-nationwide-says-new-gmc-chair/1/20009803.article?&PageNo=1&SortOrder=dateadded&PageSize=10#comments

 

A lot of medics still have a lot to learn. See what you think.

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I'm glad that more and more people are using covert surveillance to catch the careless, inept, cruel and incompetent, as in the case of Grant Clarke. The Staff Nurse, Vanessa Kennard's 'don't care' attitude is just frightening.

 

A relative of mine who trained as a nurse years ago in the Channel Isles recalled a time as a student nurse starting her shift decided to tidy the linen cupboard. The ward sister finding her so employed, gave her a severe and very public dressing down, telling her that her priority was always the patients. Mortified but knowing that the criticism was just, she never forgot that advice. I cannot help but think from what I witnessed at my local hospital, such discipline has evaporated. In fact I think it likely that a nurse today would report the sister to the union and then go off sick with stress (I have a relative who works in occupational health within the NHS and the stories I hear)!

 

As for the Pulse comment, I'm confused why a GP would think there are risks (old or new) to covert recording of consultations by patients. Why is it all about them? I'm guessing the rebuttal comment was yours Nolegion.

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