EMOTIONAL reunions took place at a Greenock care home as residents saw their families for the first time in months - separated only by a pane of glass.

A brand new visiting suite has been installed at Balclutha Court that can be accessed internally by residents and externally by visitors, to allow for moving meetings to take place.

The heated room has a cosy set up to create a warm and welcoming environment and uses an intercom system to allow the residents to chat with their visitors safely during the pandemic lockdown.

Andrew Webster, 92, was thrilled to see his daughter Sheena McTavish for the first time since last year.

Sheena says being able to use the visiting pod was 'really emotional and uplifting'.

The pair used the 30-minute slot to catch up and look to the future.

Sheena told the Tele: "I cannot put into words how great it is to see my dad in person.

"It feels like it's been such a long time, and it makes such a difference to have that face to face contact.

"The staff here have been excellent and I have nothing but praise for them for not only looking after my dad, but allowing us to have video calls and speak to him on the phone.

"But there's something special about being able to see him in this way and it makes me hopeful for times to come."

The duo also discussed their delayed Christmas dinner plans - after they spent December 25 apart for the first time in 65 years.

Sheena said: "I've promised as soon as we can and he's allowed to come to mine that we'll have a delayed Christmas dinner with all the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

"The turkey is in the freezer and I've told him he'll get his Christmas pudding eventually!

"Even it's July we'll still do it.

"It's been a long haul but to see things starting to get better and more people receiving the vaccine is very promising."

Staff at Balclutha - run by Barchester Healthcare - are ensuring that each station is cleaned thoroughly between visits and that hand sanitiser is available to visitors.

Alison Dickson, general manager at the home, said: "The visiting suite has been a much welcomed development for our residents to continue to receive much looked forward to visits from their loved ones as the weather changes.

"The visiting suites are well organised and a lot of safety measures have been put in place.

"It's been wonderful to see how happy it makes residents and their relatives."

Andrew was supported during the visit by Brooke Gallagher, and activities co-ordinator at the home Karen Dillon has also been on hand to witness the loving reunions.

Karen said: "It's been really emotional for staff to see, as we know how much residents and their families have missed spending time together.

"I was with one couple who had exchanged Valentine's Day gifts in advance and were able to open them together through the glass.

"It's bringing that real connection back again, which is so important."