Southend Council has distributed nearly 200,000 items of PPE across the borough in the last two months.

External supplies including masks and other equipment, were gathered in a bid to support the borough's social care sector, keep up with Public Health England guidance for care homes and home care settings and meet the growing demand for PPE.

Since the beginning of April, thousands of aprons, gloves, masks, clinical waste bags and goggles have been distributed across the sector to help keep staff as safe as possible through the Covid-19 outbreak.

This is in addition to supplies local providers have also sourced themselves, with many organisations having worked very hard to secure their own supplies

Earlier this month (May 4), Southend Care opened a care unit in partnership with the council to support older people who have been recently discharged from hospital and are awaiting a Covid-19 negative test result. The unit is continuing to run and work with teams from Southend Hospital.

The dedicated Covid-19 Care Unit has six fully operational assessment beds, with the daytime and night time service being kept entirely separate from Southend Care’s main residential care unit at Priory House.

Since opening, the unit has supported seven individuals, with two currently receiving support.

Teams from the unit are remaining prepared for any increase in cases as lockdown measures are eased.

Councillor Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: "Southend Council continues to support the local care sector with provision of masks and other PPE in line with our set criteria for distributing equipment.

"Due to the national shortage of PPE, the council is putting plans in place to ensure sustainable access to supplies for the borough in the medium term.

“The Covid-19 Care Unit at Priory House has delivered an outstanding service, within hours of people needing to be discharged from hospital.

"All those who have used the unit have successfully returned to their normal place of residence having received Covid-19 negative results and recovered sufficiently to leave.

“This has been an outstanding collaboration between Southend Care, Southend Borough Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group. All staff involved at Priory House should be commended and be extremely proud of the contribution they have made to help people through this challenging time.”