Political Correspondent

UNION Leaders are calling on the Scottish government to intervene and prevent the closure of a dozen care homes.

Staff and families are holding a public meeting today in Glasgow to highlight problems faced by relatives of the men and women who are in the homes, including Lochar Lodge in Pollok.

Bield Housing and Care announced late last year it was closing its 12 care homes as is withdrew from the residential care business.

The firm said it could no longer rely on public funding to maintain care home services.

Unison which represents many of the staff working at the homes said the “eviction” of vulnerable elderly people and hundreds of staff being made redundant must be stopped.

Unison said the clossre will affect 160 elderly people who are dependent on staff for care needs, including 24 hour personal care and help with feeding.

The union said many are over the age of 90 and they “are being evicted from the place they have called home for decades.”

It added that up to two hundred qualified registered care workers are being made compulsorily redundant.

John Gallacher, Scottish Organiser said: “Unison has been supporting families, lobbying hard for intervention to stop Bield’s care homes closure programme.

“We are disappointed that Scottish Government ministers seem content to stand by and let the closures happen, when the lives of vulnerable elderly people are at risk, and the jobs of essential care workers in many Scottish communities are being jettisoned. If it goes ahead it will be a disaster.”

“New integrated joint boards should be subjected to proper political and public scrutiny and held accountable for allowing such damaging developments to take place within ridiculously short timescales.”

The care homes are across Scotland including Pollok in Glasgow and others in South Lanarkshire, Falkirk, Edinburgh, West Lothian and Borders

Unison said the families of residents in the homes are calling the closures a “disaster”.

The public meeting takes place today at Unison headquarters in West Campbell Street, Glasgow at 1pm.

A statement of the Beild Housing website reads: “The decision to make these changes to services, and in particular the withdrawal of care home services, is very much a last resort option. We have carefully considered a wide range of options to continue delivery of these services however, we have been unable to find a solution that will be viable in the longer term.

It is important to stress, where feasible we will continue to operate an element of care provision, through our Bield at Home service and we will work with partners to develop Housing with Care services.”

The Scottish Government was asked by the Evening Times to comment.