Care workers in Dundee say they are being put under ‘unbearable’ pressure due to staff shortages.
And the vulnerable people who rely on the care are suffering as a result, union bosses have said.
Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership has admitted recruitment has been a struggle but said they are working to fill posts.
GMB union representative Jim Cunningham said workers are buckling under the pressure, causing stress-related illness and more absences.
Combined with carers having to isolate due to coronavirus, the situation is causing severe shortages.
“Our workers are struggling to cope with tough and harrowing working conditions and we are demanding answers from the council,” he said.
“Add to that that other workers are having to take time off due to Covid those that remain are being put under unbearable pressure.”
He also claimed service users are not receiving the full care packages they should due to the shortages.
“It’s just not possible for homecare workers to carry out the full range of services they should be providing while they are so understaffed,” he said.
“It’s meaning that many elderly and vulnerable people are not getting the help and assistance they require on a daily basis.”
Fellow GMB representative Helen Meldrum said assurances have been made that measures will be put in place to cover shortages but no changes have been made yet.
“Despite us being given assurances from social care management that measures are being put in place to help with workload and changing duties, we have been inundated with calls from members expressing concerns about what they are having to endure right now,” she said.
“We know that recruitment can take time, however these issues are not new and many workers are telling us they are at breaking point.
“Management can no longer be allowed to run down the service while making staff working lives so unbearable.
“We will not allow them to do this on the broken backs of GMB members.”
Ms Meldrum warned the situation might lead to the union holding a ballot to consider further action, however, she did welcome the news of coming measures to help with the shortages.
“While we welcome these changes and are hopeful that these will make sure that the service and your working days will be much less stressful, we will be actively making sure that these are put in place,” she said.
A Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership spokeswoman said: “Along with other social care providers nationally, services in Dundee are experiencing difficulty recruiting social care staff.
“The partnership continues to work with partners including the third and private sectors to ensure vacancies in the provision of care are kept to a minimum.
“Our staff are continuing to work with dedication and courage and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work.”