NHS Trusts Criticized Over System That Films Mental Health Patients in Their Bedrooms

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From The Guardian: “NHS trusts are facing calls to suspend the use of a monitoring system that continuously records video of mental health patients in their bedrooms amid concerns that it breaches their human rights.

Mental health charities said the Oxevision system, used by 23 NHS trusts in some psychiatric wards to monitor patients’ vital signs, could breach their right to privacy and exacerbate their distress.

The call comes after Camden and Islington NHS foundation trust (C&I) suspended its use of Oxevision after a formal complaint by a female patient who said the system amounted to ‘covert surveillance.'”

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Interestingly, no reaction from the commentariat.

    I raised the issue of violation of human rights/voyeurism of patients a number of years ago. Funnily enough, the Trust that would neither confirm nor deny and instead called me out for paranoia and personality defects, have been revealed to be on this list of violators/voyeurs.

    No surprises but these violations go much deeper, way deeper. This is the tip of the iceberg.

      • Yes, Steve. Anything can be rationalised.

        Makes me wonder how many violated people have been invited into these Open Dialogues and passive-aggressively demeaned about their “suspicious feelings”…

        The problem is that the mental health system is legally a subdivision of the criminal justice system. And since the year 2000 powers to violate and voyeur upon a person have been normalised. So someone comes along with depression and a desire to re-find their way in life and their faith in others, and behind those friendly smiles they’ll be sniffing through their email history and checking out their online habits. Just in case, you know, they might be a serious criminal.

        There have been scandals in which staff plant cameras on staff, in toilets particularly, and the horror expressed, the disbelief, the rage… and the court case that follows.

        It is truly a sick and broken world.

          • I know what you mean.

            Lots of people in psychosis (and not in psychosis) these days have ongoing anxieties and agonies about violating surveillance, particularly via hidden cameras.

            Those regional Mental Health Trusts that *did* disclose about technology in rooms were open about the use of vital signs detectors. And the majority of in-patients were okay with that deployment. I expect not just to save lives of the suicidal or severely self-harming, but also to hopefully intervene in other serious medical events induced by the drugs, like heart failure.

            What none of them disclosed was that they had also installed hidden spy cameras in the bedrooms.

            I expect the rationale there would be that it wasn’t in the patients’ interests because most people (other than, probably, exhibitionists) don’t approve of hidden cameras in their bedrooms, whether in a hospital or at home or anywhere.

            Most people (that would be sane people) would agree that hidden cameras in bedrooms were not acceptable in any context. Unless perhaps to detect a serious crime that was occurring in that room only.

            The police have been using the same systems in their holding cells but a holding cell isn’t a place in which there is an expectation of privacy, other than the toilet area, if there is one.

            20 years ago this story would be far more shocking. But in many peoples’ mind the Right to Privacy is an eroded right, a right that has been undermined and devalued.

            Some people say that the loss of one fundamental right is the beginning of the erosion of all rights.

            For the psychosocially disabled, it’s not so much an erosion of rights but a clear example of how some rights are assumed to be non-fundamental for specific devalued groups.

            One by one my suspicions are being revealed as true. Although I doubt all of them will be. Or maybe that’s more of a hope than a doubt.

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