The Scottish Government is being urged to step in and prevent care company Bield from “abandoning” scores of elderly people by closing its 12 nursing homes north of the Border.

The firm announced its plans in October, saying financial constraints meant it had to look differently at how the business operates.

Unison has warned the closures would be a “disaster”, as 160 elderly people will lose their home and up to 200 care workers face compulsory redundancy.

The union has been campaigning against the plans and has arranged a public meeting in Glasgow for relatives to voice concerns.

Bield, a not-for-profit organisation, is to shut its homes in Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Borders, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian. Unison suggests this could happen by the summer.

John Gallacher, the union’s Scottish organiser, said it had been working to support affected families and was “lobbying hard for intervention” to stop the closures.

He said: “We are disappointed Scottish Government ministers seem content to stand by and let the closures happen, when the lives of vulnerable elderly people are at risk, and the jobs of essential care workers in many Scottish communities are being jettisoned. If it goes ahead it will be a disaster.”