Hidden cameras could and have helped worried families find out about the kind of care their loved one was receiving, the care minister told Daybreak.
Norman Lamb said "there was no loss of dignity" with surveillance if the Care Quality Commission were on board as it was "all by agreement" and "might expose something dreadful".
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) want to "inspire" workers looking after elderly and adults patients to provide better care, the new head of the CQC told Daybreak.
Andrea Sutcliffe denied a ratings system for care homes would create a divide between outstanding facilities, which would become oversubscribed, and other homes which had not done so well.
She explained: "What we want to do is to encourage people to improve so that we don't get into that situation. We need to make sure that there are good services available."
Care homes and adult social care inspectors should ask themselves if they would allow their own mother to stay in the facility they are inspecting, the new Care Quality Commission chief has said.
Andrea Sutcliffe published her priorities in A Fresh Start for the Regulation and Inspection of Adult Social Care.
Ms Sutcliffe also wants to recruit an army of ordinary people with personal experience of the care system to help carry out inspections and introduce a more rigorous ratings system.
– Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care Andrea Sutcliffe
We will always be on the side of the people who use care services. For every care service we look at, I want us to ask: 'Is this good enough for my mum?'.
If it is, this should be celebrated. If not, then as the regulator we will do something about it.
Adult social care is the largest and fastest growing sector that CQC regulates and so it is imperative that we get it right.
Proposals to introduce hidden cameras in care homes have been criticised by an industry expert.
Davina Ludlow, the director of care home directory carehome.co.uk, accused the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of creating "a big brother culture" which would "impact on residents' freedom".
– director of care home directory carehome.co.uk Davina Ludlow
Whilst safeguarding is vital, so too is dignity and privacy.
We urge full and meaningful consultation before digital spies infiltrate the care sector.
Not only will covert surveillance impact on residents' freedom, it may also have a knock-on effect on the motivation of staff.
We need to train, support and inspire the next generation of carers, not create a big brother culture where people are afraid to do this vital job.