HUNDREDS of home-help jobs in Glasgow are to be axed, saving millions of pounds.
Cordia, a city council arm's length company, has revealed it is to cut 287 posts - almost 10% of the 3000 home-help staff, saving £4.6m, according to the city council, over two years.
The organisation said the jobs will go through natural turnover and redeployment and that there will be no compulsory redundancies. Union leaders fear the move will see vulnerable people left without support they need.
Cordia is rolling out a scheme called Reablement which provides tailored care at home for up to six weeks.
It is aimed at helping people regain skills to do as much as they can for themselves so they can remain in their own homes. The scheme will mean the care package some people need when they get out of hospital will be cut as their health and confidence improves.
A Cordia spokesman said: "By rolling out the Reablement service reform it's anticipated £4.5m of savings can be achieved from the council's social work services' budget over the next two years.
"This will have an effect on Cordia, but where possible the reduction of 287 posts will be managed through redeployment and natural turnover. There will be no compulsory redundancies.
"Reablement is designed to encourage users to help themselves and increase their independence, meaning people who would normally have tasks completed for them by home carers – such as getting washed and dressed – will be supported to do more for themselves.
"The main focus of Reablement is to help people, where appropriate, to improve their quality of life in their own homes, while reducing the cost of care."
Brian Smith, Unison Glasgow branch secretary, said union bosses hope to meet with Cordia next week to hear details of the scheme.
He said: "The worrying thing for us would be if people were not assessed properly and had their service cut leaving them abandoned. If they assess people's needs as being too low they make them more vulnerable and at risk by removing services.
"There is a possibility that could happen in Glasgow.
"The population is getting older and the idea that we are reducing, rather than extending the home help service does not make sense."
Graeme Hendry, leader of the city council's SNP group, said: "I am not convinced the proposal is achievable or in the best interests of our citizens."