CHESHIRE West and Chester Council says that it is doing ‘all it can’ to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to those who need it most.

The equipment, which includes surgical gloves, gowns and face masks, is vital to protect both vulnerable residents and the staff that care for them from contracting coronavirus.

As many of these items are disposable, they are required in large volumes every day, and PPE is subsequently in short supply across the country.

To combat this, the council says that it is working carefully to monitor and maintain its stocks to support services and staff, as well as its 200 local care providers, whose 5,000 strong workforce provides services in care homes in the community.

Figures provided by the council state that it has provided more than 60,000 units of PPE, including more than 23,500 items of emergency PPE to care providers.

Specialist Infection Control Nurses are also providing daily advice and guidance to care providers.

The council says it is making ‘significant investment’ to ensure the borough has the required stocks of PPE to last throughout the pandemic and beyond.

And that these supplies will be issued on an emergency basis where care services cannot secure enough PPE through their established suppliers.

Cllr Val Armstrong, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “Our care staff are doing a fantastic job in exceptionally challenging circumstances.

“Great efforts are being made to provide them with the required equipment to safely carry out their vital role in tackling Covid-19.

“The scale of this pandemic has raised issues that we’ve never encountered before and challenges with PPE do still remain, which we have been actively raising at the highest level.

“Some limited stocks are now being supplied to local authorities by the Government, however this still does not meet the needs of our care providers.

“We are continuing to work alongside providers and government to do all we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our carers and residents.”