Secret papers in street

News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.
News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

AN INVESTIGATION was launched this week after confidential papers about mental health patients - including personal details, medical records and care plans - were found ‘blowing around’ in Sheffield city centre.

Documents, with names, dates of birth and telephone numbers, were handed to The Star by a passer-by who found them in the Bridge Street area.

In one case, there was paperwork relating to a decision to section a woman with a history of absconding from previous addresses, who needed ‘urgent deprivation of liberty’ to prevent harm to herself. She is a patient at a small care home in the west of the city.

Another detailed a man’s behaviour over several days while at a local care home.

Eddie Sherwood, council director of care and support, said it was “an extremely serious breach of confidential information”.

He added: “As a large organisation which deals with the public, we have strict procedures in place to stop this from happening. Unfortunately this appears not to have happened here and we have launched an immediate investigation.”

Scott Milnes, treasurer at Sheffield Mental Health Action Group, based in Castle Market, said: “Members of the public shouldn’t be able to pick up really personal paperwork like that in the street. It’s shocking.”