Monday, 3 October 2016

MED7006: Entrepreneurial Idea...

My entrepreneurial idea is a social enterprise aimed at promoting the use of surveillance cameras in elderly care homes in the UK. This goes beyond public, communal areas, extending to resident’s bedrooms. My idea has been inspired by the work of a newly setup company ‘Care Protect’ which has rolled out the use of cameras in bedrooms to safeguard residents and staff. The company has come up against barriers when dealing with social workers who believe the cameras violate the human rights of residents who don’t have capacity, such as those who have dementia. Cameras aren’t allowed to be turned on in bedrooms even if the residents next of kin or those legally allowed to make decisions on their behalf give consent. The cameras can be used with the permission of those who do have capacity, for example those who live in care homes but not for reasons relating to conditions which result in loss of capacity.

Since the early part of this year I have worked in a care home which uses the cameras in question. Every medical professional involved as an employee at that care home has given many practical examples of how the cameras have been beneficial, and in the best interests of residents and staff. My idea would involve using social media as a promotional tool to present the benefits of this camera use and shatter any myths.

When I first heard of the surveillance I was sceptical, it felt like unnecessary intrusion, but that was down to misunderstanding what images the cameras collect and how selective the process is. It would be my aim to educate others on the benefits of this camera use, as I believe it is actively keeping vulnerable people safe.

From a business stand point, I would look to pitch the idea to Care Protect, to show how educating the wider public about the cameras and their use would be beneficial to the business as they begin to consider legal routes, to try to change how decisions in this area are made for those who don’t have capacity. The business doesn’t have a vibrant social media platform itself and is therefore not educating a large audience on what they can offer, they do champion it to a very small section of people, which I think needs to be expanded if change is to be achieved.

Links: Care Protect

(Context of post: Part of my MA degree study at Birmingham City University)

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