Adult care services in Northamptonshire could save thousands by installing benevolent Big Brother-style monitoring cameras in care homes, a tech firm claims.
The Care Project - a company founded by entrepreneur Ben Wilson - believes care providers and councils could greatly reduce the amount spent on costly referrals by installing the new devices in care homes, and even bedrooms.
The firms claims to have developed an in-home monitoring camera that is only activated by certain "incidents", such as if an elderly person trips or falls over.
Such an event would send a notification to an independent monitor sat at a computer, who could then dispatch care if needed.
The rolling 24-hour cameras could also be used to review any serious complaint against staff in care homes, nurseries or hospitals, among others.
However, the firm claims the independent monitors would not be constantly observing a live feed and founder Mr Wilson says the technology also conforms to surveillance laws.
He said: “Camera surveillance and expert monitoring is a long overdue solution.
"In the 21st Century when technology applications are used in many aspects of day-to-day living, it is unbelievable that we are not routinely using surveillance and monitoring tools to protect vulnerable people and to ensure safeguarding investigations are decided on the basis of evidence and not probability."
Mr Wilson said the cameras could not be used as an excuse to reduce staff, or limit training.
But he did admit that the devices could be used to drive savings.
In 2015/16, 1,771 safeguarding referrals - effectively complaints about carers - were made to Northamptonshire County Council. However, 620 of these were not substantiated.
Staff members are often suspended to allow for lengthy investigations to take place.
“Our initial findings suggest that millions of pounds could be saved every year in terms of resources used to investigate every referral," he said.
"Hard evidence means investigations can be resolved in hours and days as opposed to weeks and months.
The company also claims the use of camera surveillance is "widely supported by the public".
What do you think? Would you support camera monitors in Northamptonshire care homes?