A RECORD number of unpaid carers are now getting the help they desperately need in Inverclyde.

Over the last year 600 more people have registered with the Inverclyde Carers' Centre to receive vital support and access to services.

But centre manager Lorna MacDonald says that more needs to be done to make sure carers are not slipping through the net.

During the recent Carers Awareness Week a number of events were organised for those who look after loved ones, including a special conference at the Tontine Hotel.

Centre manager Lorna MacDonald, who was one of the guest speakers, said: "I spoke about successful projects like the Carers Passport which is very popular with carers and the difference the Carers Act has made.

"Carers are entitled to an adult support plan.

"The Carers Awareness Week was a real success in highlighting these issues."

Over the next year Inverclyde Carers' Centre, the Carers' Council and Inverclyde Health & Social Care Partnership will look at ways of making a greater impact in acute services.

The carers centre now has a total of 2,500 registered carers.

But this figure is set to rise thanks to a new system which will allow GPs to refer carers directly.

Lorna added: "That will make a huge difference as GPs can refer carers at a push of a button.

"We are also finding a self referral form online for the local carers' centre is helping reach people as well."