VULNERABLE adults will have to use private home care if a Kirklees Council plan goes ahead.
Council carers currently provide support for people with complex needs – and a small percentage of more routine cases.
But council officials have drawn up a plan to privatise the routine work as part of the effort to save millions from the Kirklees budget.
Trade union Unison fears the change will put older and disabled people at risk.
Assistant branch secretary Mick Ryan said: “There have been lots and lots of complaints about private companies not being up to it. Our members have ended up having to cover for them.
“We think the council provides an excellent service and the people of Kirklees would want that to carry on.”
Mr Ryan explained how the new system would work.
“The council plans to concentrate on the more critical needs, looking after people in the six weeks after they come out of hospital,” he said.
“The percentage of care provided by Kirklees would drop from 17.5% to 15%. We have 450 people providing care but there are no plans to reduce the number of staff.”
Unison’s Yorkshire spokeswoman Leonie Sharp said yesterday that the change would mean less choice for care users.
“The council is cutting off the choice to have in-house provision,” she said.
Ms Sharp added that the change could affect the quality of care.
“Private companies make money by cutting back on terms and conditions, health and safety and training,” she said.
“We have to ensure the standard of care remains. Vulnerable people have to have confidence in the people who are coming into their homes and doing very personal things like washing and dressing.”
Ms Sharp also accused Kirklees of rushing through the changes.
“The council is required to consult and to do an equality impact assessment,” she said.