MORE than 25 local care workers have been put on a 30-day notice period.

The Trust Care Services programme, which is owned by Inverclyde Community Development Trust, is closing down - leaving 26 people without jobs.

Trust Care, which provides home support, has been delivering care in the district for almost 30 years, working to allow people to maintain their independence and remain in their own homes.

The programme has been running at a loss for the last two years and the decision not to retender was taken by board members in January.

A spokesman for Inverclyde Community Development Trust explained that payments for staff, travel time and expenses had forced the programme into the red.

He said: "We have been delivering Care Services to the people of Inverclyde for twenty-nine years – sadly we have taken the decision not to continue delivering these services. Our current homecare contract with Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership was coming to an end, and we took the decision not to re-tender for the new contract.

"The decision was based on our experience of attempting to deliver a quality service within the constraints of legislation around travel time and the often controversial delivery of fifteen minute care visits.

"Over the last few years, we had made the decision to pay our staff for travel time, regardless of legislation or contractor requirements, however continuing to operate in this way would have made the service unsustainable.

"Twenty six people will lose their jobs with the closure of the service, and we are working to support and assist our colleagues during the redundancy process.

"Arrangements are being made with other local care providers to ensure continuity of care for all clients of the service."

A former Trust Care Services client from Greenock, who asked not to be named, told the Telegraph that she was shocked to hear about the end of the service.

She said: "I used it for over two years and was shocked to hear that jobs were at risk and clients will have to find new care providers.

"It will have a huge impact on clients, who will now have to find new companies quickly.

"For me finding another care provider was relatively simple but that might not be the case for everyone."

Robin Taggart, branch secretary for Unison Inverclyde confirmed that they were aware that the Trust did not retender for the homecare contract.

He added said: "I would expect that the board will do everything possible to find alternative work for the affected staff, either elsewhere within the Trust or by talking to other providers who will continue to deliver home care services locally. These staff will be very experienced and would be an obvious asset to other home care providers."