THE SAFETY of the vulnerable and elderly is being jeopardised due to problems within North Lanarkshire's Home Care service.

This is the view of a carer who has spoken out about the lack of organisation within the service.

She said: "Before we used to have regulars and worked set shifts, now we work weekends as well and never know when we'll be scheduled to see certain patients.

"The organisation isn't there, we're also often not given enough time to get from one job to the next.

"Of course the main worry is the vulnerable ones who have no family, I worry they will end up neglected."

Elizabeth McDonald of Cumbernauld, whose father Michael Canavan (69) of Kilsyth receives Home Care, agrees.

She said: "My father is not long out of hospital and they are meant to come in and tend to him four times a day. The carers are all lovely, but there is a lack of information - they were giving my dad 18 tablets in the morning on an empty stomach and there are days he is left lying in bed until 11am because they can't get two people out to lift him. He has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease so shouldn't be left lying all that time. They just don't have enough time to do what they are supposed to be doing.

"One day I visited and he was still in his pyjamas at 8pm. I'm almost in tears seeing him like this. My mother was his main carer until she passed away and me and my sister do our best but we can't be there all the time."

Mary Reilly of Cumbernauld Village has received Home Care for 12 years. The 72-year-old suffers from chronic asthma and arthritis and also feels the level of care is not good enough.

Staff visit her three times a day to serve meals, as well as once as week to do an hour of cleaning and to deliver her shopping.

She said: "On Mondays I always get my shopping delivered at 9.30am but no one came last Monday, I called and they said they would come on Tuesday, but still no one came until I called. By this point I had no bread or milk and hadn't had any shopping delivered since the Monday before.

"The man who did eventually come round with the shopping was lovely, but it's the time I had to wait."

Mrs Reilly, who uses a zimmer frame to get around her house, pays 83 a month for the service.

She added: "They've been cutting back for a while, when the girls are here cleaning they're getting calls to go to other houses, it's not their fault they just don't have enough time to get round all the houses. It's getting worse all the time, sometimes they're only here 20 minutes."

Jane Johnstone, community social work manager, said: "We carried out a review of Mr Canavan's care needs on Monday, and have prepared an individual plan for him in agreement with his family.

"There has been no reduction to the level of care which Ms Reilly receives. Each individual has their own care plan, which is regularly reviewed, and sets out care appropriate to their needs.

"We will discuss her other concerns with her directly in order to address them."