• Sarah Whitebloom

Watch the Money-Go-Round

Leading campaigners for CCTV in care homes are millionaire care industry veterans who run a commercial enterprise which supplies er...CCTV for care homes.

Take a look at today’s Mail on Sunday, written by OLM’s Sarah Whitebloom: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-5642461/Southern-Cross-duo-turn-sights-CCTV-care-homes.html

Philip Scott and Graham Sizer run Care Protect, which is one of the country’s leading proponents of cameras in care. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, even if they could make a lot of money out of cameras becoming mandatory or a regular feature in homes.

But there is nothing wrong either with mentioning that Care Protect is a commercial organisation – run by people who have already made a very great deal of money out of the care industry. Scott and Sizer both made millions as directors of Southern Cross, although they left the now-defunct group years before it collapsed and had no role in that episode.

However, furious individuals, who are clearly keen supporters of Scott and Sizer, have reacted angrily to the story online. They basically suggest that it is illegitimate to mention that the pair have a significant financial stake in cameras being placed in care homes and that they have already made a lot of money out of the care industry. To quote Mandy Rice-Davies: 'They would say that wouldn't they.'

To pretend that it is irrelevant, is bizarre and a distraction from the fact that Care Protect has frequently been opaque about its campaign.

For instance, as was mentioned in the Mail on Sunday, the company has often used as an example of how fantastic cameras are, a care home owned by, you’ve guess it, Scott and Sizer through the Zest homes group.

Regular internet posts about Bramley Court in Birmingham have been put on Care Protect’s twitter page – without mentioning that the home is owned by the pair. And Care Protect has even regularly quoted, as a leading authority on cameras, the manager of the care home – who is, of course, an employee of Scott and Sizer.

There is no mention, either, of the fact that the Northern Ireland care regulator has twice expressed concerns about the use of CCTV in one of Zest’s care homes in the province.

The regulator has twice recently inspected the group’s Three Rivers facility in Omagh. After last September’s inspection, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Agency raised issues over privacy and also stated: ’A review of the policy on the use of CCTV in the home included reference to sharing footage with RQIA. This statement is inaccurate and should be removed from the policy. Given that the use of CCTV does not comply with RQIA guidance the policy should be reviewed.’

The latest report in January highlighted six areas for improvement, including one relating to the use of CCTV.


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