LONG-awaited reunions with family members have started at a Somerset care home.

West Abbey Care Centre, in Yeovil, has allowed limited garden visits to commence at the home.

Staff say there has been much careful planning and preparation for this moment by Barchester Healthcare, who run the centre, and at this point it is a limited and cautious approach, with not all residents being able to accept visitors, but only where we believe it to be safe.

Helen Colaço, general manager at the home, said: "The visits are well organised, and a lot of safety measures have been put in place to keep everyone safe. It was wonderful to see how happy it made the residents and their relatives.”

Sheila, a resident at West Abbey, said: “The staff here have been so wonderful teaching me how to use video calls so I could keep in touch with my family, but nothing beats seeing my family in real life.

"This was a special moment, and I was over the moon.”