• Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand

Care homes across the UK are struggling to afford PPE, with local councils and government slow to up their funding, ITV News has found.

The Comberton care home in Dudley was relying on donations of things like visors to help it through the Covid-19 crisis.

Julie Russell, care home manager, told ITV News: “The major issue has been PPE. Masks, gloves, aprons.

The Comberton care home in Dudley was relying on donations of things like visors to help it through the Covid-19 crisis. Credit: ITV News

“The prices have risen considerably. The boxes of gloves, we’re paying four times as much as we would have in the beginning.”

The price rise amounts to thousands of pounds.

Dudley Council says its still working on extra funding to cover those costs, and its not the only one.

Documents seen by ITV News show one council allocated £3.87 per resident per week for PPE before the pandemic.

But care home accounts now put the cost as high as £253.83.

The government has given councils an extra £3.2bn to cover the costs of coronavirus.

Last week, they told councils to spend up to 10 per cent more on social care.

ITV News has been passed letters which show Stockton and York are only offering 5 per cent - with others yet to promise anything at all.

When asked if the government could force councils to ring fence the additional funds to ensure its being spent on social care, local government secretary Robert Jenrick said: “We don’t want to hamstring councils too much because they’re doing a lot of different tasks.

“But if necessary, we will take extra action to make sure money flows through to those care homes.”

On Tuesday, Dudley promised a funding package by next week - with some councils already paying out.

But to protect their residents, care homes need help keeping up their own strength.

Councils, including York, told us that the government had not provided enough central funding to cover the true cost of the pandemic, with the money having to be split many ways.

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