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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.
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".
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What would you think if you knew that the CQC might use hidden cameras to check whether the care your mum received was up to scratch?