SERVICES for adults with learning disabilities are starting to reopen after lockdown - as families raise concerns about care.

The Fitzgerald Centre, Inverclyde's facility for adults with learning disabilities, has reopened its doors to the those in the greatest need but with a reduced capacity.

Families have told the Tele how care packages at home were hit, respite cancelled and social groups were shelved as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Now health and social care bosses have admitted that the shutdown reinforced the need for day services to support adults with additional support needs.

It comes as they continue to make plans build a new £7.4 million centre to replace the centre on Lynedoch Street.

One carer told the Tele: "We were really concerned about the lack of support during lockdown and coming out of it.

"They opened pubs and restaurants but we were given very little information about opening services for adults with learning disabilities.

"Similar to children who were without schooling, many of the adults who use services like the Fitzgerald Centre have also taken a step backwards, as they have had to go without the social interaction and routine they need and receive daily.

"Respite was closed.

"My brother's care was reduced at home.

"All the social groups closed, trips out on 'one-to-ones' with carers also stopped.

"These are vulnerable adults.

"My brother has his family but there are others out there without the same support.

"It has been very difficult and it is important services open back up.

"It has been difficult for everyone and we have no idea when respite will restart.

"We did speak to the Fitzgerald Centre and I passed on our concerns."

In a recent report to councillors health and social care bosses set out their plans for reopening day services.

The Fitzgerald Centre has been operating at 20 per cent capacity for small groups of up to six service users with the most complex needs.

They are being offered morning and afternoon group sessions, which the centre intends to increase in stages.

The Care Inspectorate has been informed of the recovery of services and the council is working in partnership with trade unions.

Inverclyde's HSCP say they have kept in regular contact with service users to provide critical support including meal provisions.

A report went on to say feedback from carers and services users during this difficult period has confirmed the importance of the Fitzgerald Centre in supporting both adults with learning disabilities and their cares.

When contacted by the Tele the council stated services had reopened on August 11 and said that there were regular newsletters.