Care firm put vulnerable patients at risk after confidential documents fly-tipped in Rushden

They've been hit with a bill by magistrates

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 1:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 1:54 pm
Some of the dumped waste.

Sensitive and confidential documents relating to a care firm's vulnerable and disabled patients were found dumped in a Rushden street.

Profad Care Agency - who provide care for people in their own homes - have been hit with a bill of £1,600 after an investigation into two fly-tipping incidents.

In December 2019, officers from East Northamptonshire Council came across about 20 bags of waste which had been left in Queen Street.

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Some of the dumped waste.

An investigation led them back to Profad Care Agency Ltd and they spoke to the company, who were unaware of the correct disposal arrangements.

This was followed by another fly-tipping incident at the same location in just a couple of months later in February 2020. Materials found in this fly-tip included sensitive and confidential material related to the vulnerable individuals in Profad’s care, as well as photographic identification and confidential employee information.

The incidents meant council offers from several departments had to work to further safeguard those potentially affected by the data breach.

North Northamptonshire Council's (NNC) adult social care commissioning team, who are responsible for ensuring services are delivered safely, are working closely with Profad to ensure the service, and its new leadership team, implement the remedial actions identified.

A representative from Profad attended an interview under caution with NNC Officers in March 2021, where they admitted fly-tipping and breaching GDPR by not disposing of sensitive material correctly.

Damilola Adeniyi, the firm's director and secretary, pleaded guilty on behalf of the firm at a hearing at Wellingborough Magistrates' Court on July 20.

Magistrates issued a fine of £1,000, costs of £500.18 and a victim surcharge of £100.

Cllr Graham Lawman, NNC's executive member for highways, travel and assets, said: "Fly-tipping is never acceptable and has a detrimental impact on our area, but this case is just careless and could have put some of our most vulnerable residents at risk.

"Our officers work tirelessly to educate both residents and businesses about how to dispose of waste, but will prosecute where appropriate, so there really is no excuse for fly-tipping in north Northants.”

Cllr Helen Harrison, NNC's executive member for adults, health and wellbeing, added: “This is such a sad case, but I am so pleased that teams from across NNC worked together to support those impacted and made sure our most vulnerable residents’ data was protected and that everything has been done to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”