Watch as Sunderland residents are outraged after personal information and photographs left dumped outside of former care home
“This is people’s lives” – local residents have expressed their shock and concern after personal information including National Insurance numbers, birth and marriage certificates and photocopies of passports and driving licences was left dumped in the grounds of a former care home.
Other items found strewn across the car park of what was the Manor House Care Home in Easington Lane, included personal photographs and “life books” of residents who used to live there as well as Disclosure and Barring Service documentation of former employees.
Local residents were alerted to a potential problem three weeks ago when the property was “cleared out”, with all its contents, including the personal documentation, dumped outside the building where they’ve been left ever since.
Debbie Hogkinson, 42, who is director of her own domiciliary care company, Elegance Care and Support Ltd said: “We went up to the building after seeing all the items had just been dumped and it was then we noticed all this personal documentation and photographs.
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"My grandmother was in this care home. People’s lives are in that pile and there’s even a life-book showing pictures of one former resident from when she was born.
"These are personal items which should be passed on to family members, not just dumped.
Sarah Robson, 71, who lives in the next street to the former home, said: “It’s as if these people didn’t matter and it’s just wrong. It’s very upsetting to see as this is people’s lives.”
Of equal concern for the residents is the potential for what should be confidential information to “fall into the wrong hands”.
Sarah added: “I got a shock when I saw all this private information. This getting into the wrong hands of people who want to clone information – they’d have a field day.”
Co director at Elegance Care and Support Ltd, Wendy Foster, 45, added: “Whoever has just dumped this information here is surely in breach of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). There’s lots of personal documentation including medical information of people who lived here.
"I worry about this information getting into the wrong hands. I own a care company and all our staff need to be DBS checked but this sort of situation makes you think about whether such information actually belongs to who they say it does.”
The residents said they’ve contacted Sunderland City Council and now simply want “whoever is responsible” to clear up the mess and ensure personal information is disposed of or stored in the correct way.
The City Council have confirmed the building remains privately owned and released a statement which said: “The council is aware of the most recent concerns that have been raised about the ownership of Manor House.”
Manor House Care Home closed in 2016 following being judged inadequate after a Care Quality Commission inspection the previous year.
The home was then converted into hostel accommodation and has remained closed since a fatal fire started by one of the residents. Former owners were also fined £22,300 in a subsequent trial for fire safety failings.
The Echo has tried to contact the last known owners, on what was their registered contact details but the business is no longer registered with the Government’s Companies House.