FIVE care home staff have been sacked after allegedly mimicking residents online.
The workers at Bramble Hollow, in Hetton, are believed to have posted offensive photos online on social networking website Facebook.
The Echo understands those involved were dressed in elderly residents’ clothes in the purpose-built home for the over-55s when posing for the pictures.
Residents and relatives have told how they have been left shocked by the incident.
A visitor to the home, who did not want to be named, said: “We heard that people had been sacked.
“Apparently it was for messing round, which isn’t very nice for the people here.”
A Bramble Hollow resident added: “I keep myself to myself, but I’ve heard things. I heard rumours of staff wearing old people’s clothes, I think in the home.”
Age UK Sunderland boss Alan Patchett today slammed the behaviour of the staff involved.
He said: “I am shocked that this type of behaviour should go on in care premises in Sunderland.
“It’s absolutely appalling that care workers should display such a lack of respect towards the residents in their care.”
Housing 21, who run Bramble Hollow, confirmed an investigation has been carried out into the allegations, which resulted in five members of staff being dismissed.
Victoria Barclay, regional operations director for Housing 21, said: “A recent investigation led to the dismissal of five members of our care staff at Bramble Hollow.
“Housing 21 has a strict social media policy in place to protect customers and staff and any breach of this policy is taken very seriously.”
Bramble Hollow contains 48 purpose-built apartments for over-55s.
The development, which opened in 2011, also has on-site care and support services.