MORE than 75,000 people have signed a petition backing an East Renfrewshire family in their battle to get overnight care reinstated for a vulnerable woman.

Ruth Cherry, 27, who is autistic, non-verbal and epileptic, had her carers replaced with technology by the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).

Her mum Shona has been staying at her daughter’s Thornliebank home since the change was made two weeks ago due to fears for Ruth’s safety.

Paul Masterton, Ruth’s MP, has called on the HSCP to maintain Ruth’s in-person care until the family’s “real and serious” concerns have been addressed.

He said: “Whilst in many cases technology will provide the right tailored support, Ruth’s family have not been given sufficient comfort it is the right thing for her care. 

“More than that others, including the emergency services, have highlighted worries about the plans.”

Ruth’s brother David launched a petition calling for the decision to be reversed and it has been signed by more than 76,000 people.

He believes the policy change that leaves Ruth without overnight care is a “cost cutting” measure, but the HSCP say the new telecommunications system offers “more effective” support.

Ruth moved into her own home in January, a step her parents only approved because round-the-clock care was available. Health chiefs decided to remove the care just six months later.

Under the new system, Ruth is put to bed by a care worker who locks the house on leaving at 10pm. A microphone listens out for sounds of distress and a camera can be activated to check on her condition, he said. If there are any issues, a carer will be sent to help. “Ruth not only cannot respond to this, but is likely to find it distressing,” David said.

A HSCP spokesman said: “The revised policy for overnight support was introduced following careful consideration and, due to significant advances in technology, we can now care for people in a less intrusive and more effective way throughout the night.”