Home care in Glasgow has been stopped until further notice for 1600 people to cope with the coronavirus crisis.

The city council has been forced to write to those affected to tell them the service has had to be withdrawn due to pressure of staffing with many workers isolating because of the virus.

It will focus staff on those who have critical home care needs only.

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Last week the Glasgow Times reported how a reduced level of service was being put in place but not fully withdrawn at that time.

The council, like the NHS, is facing even greater staffing issues in the coming weeks if more people in the city are infected.

As well as some services having to cope with the increase it has to contend with losing staff as more of the workforce are self-isolating.

In a letter, Susanne Millar, interim head of the Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “This action is in order to enable us to deploy our limited staffing resources to support service users who are in critical need of our care.  The HSCP Home Care Service is also focusing on a key priority at this challenging time to support patients being discharged from hospital.”

READ MORE:Council facing future staffing crisis

The service users, many of whom are elderly, have been given contact details if their needs change during the suspension.

The council said it was also having to provide support for patients being discharged from hospital to free up beds for the rising numbers of people affected by the virus.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership said: “Unfortunately, in these most challenging and exceptional circumstances, we are being forced to make some very difficult decisions.

“We understand that this situation is far from ideal and is concerning for families. We apologise most sincerely for this unprecedented interruption to care and support. It is not something we would want, but it is unavoidable while we help to tackle this public health emergency.

“Where a service user’s care needs change significantly or their support needs change, this can be discussed with our team of Social Care Assessors, as detailed in the letters to service users and their families.”