In line with national guidance issued in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, dental practices in Staffordshire are currently closed for routine “face to face” dental appointments.
People seeking help with dental problems should not visit local dental practices in person but instead contact their usual practice by phone, between the hours of 9am -5pm, Monday to Friday, for information for advice on alternative arrangements in place. Outside normal hours or if a patient does not have a dentist, they should contact NHS 111.
All local practices are offering telephone or video-link consultations and can prescribe pain killers and antibiotics if needed. The practices will triage patients and be able to directly refer those in need of urgent face to face treatment to an Urgent Dental Care site where they can be seen.
People seeking help should not visit A&E departments or GP surgeries for dental care.
There are currently five operational urgent dental centres (UDCs) across Staffordshire for patients who are showing no Covid-19 symptoms. More local sites will be opened in the future according to demand.
For safety, a separate site is operational in Staffordshire that is designated for patients who are possible or confirmed COVID-19 patients, including patients with symptoms, or those living in their household.
There are also a further three specialist sites operational across Staffordshire thatwill treat shielded patients. The Community Dental Service are continuing to provide urgent care to many of the shielded patients already using their service.
No patient walk in services are permitted as we must reduce the risk to the dental profession.
It is very important for their own safety that patients are clear about whether they have a temperature, are symptomatic, self-isolating or in a vulnerable or shielded group.
In recent months many parents have contacted me to say that they sometimes struggle to get an appointment at the doctors either for themselves or for their kids. We all know that NHS services continue to be under pressure partly due to underfunding and a huge demand on services.
I was reading about the Minor Ailment Scheme or Minor Ailment Service and it could be a big help to families and elderly people if the service is used properly. As a local Councillor I am regularly given updates about our health service and I show a keen interest in local NHS services. However this was the first I had heard about such a scheme. The main aim is to encourage people not to visit the GP with minor ailments in the hope this will free up more appointments for people in serious need.
So now I know a bit more about the scheme I have taken the liberty of listing all the local pharmacies in Kidsgrove and the wider area that are signed up to the Minor Ailment Scheme. Please see the section below for local pharmacies.
So what is it and how can the scheme help you?
Minor Ailment Schemes exist in some parts of the UK. These schemes allow pharmacies to provide you with medicines for free on the NHS, as well as giving over the counter advice and support about how to care for minor conditions yourself.
The medicines covered by the scheme vary depending where in the UK you live, so you will need to talk to a pharmacy that signs up to the scheme in your local area.
Eligibility is quite clear. Anyone who doesn’t normally have to pay for prescriptions from their GP – for example because they are under 16, over 60 or on benefits is eligible for the scheme and will not need to pay for the medicine that the pharmacist suggests.
Which local pharmacies sign up to the scheme?
- Lloyds Pharmacy – 42 Market Street, Kidsgrove, Stoke On Trent, ST7 4AB
- Well Kidsgrove – Mount Road, Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, ST7 4AY
- Well Goldenhill – Ann Street, Goldenhill, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 5QJ
- Well Talke – Freeport, Jamage Rd, Talke Pits, Stoke-on-Trent ST7 1QD
- Packmoor – 1 Samuel Street, Packmoor, Stoke-on-Trent, ST7 4SR
- Well Chesterton – 21-23 London Road, Chesterton, N-u-L, ST5 7EA
- Boots and Asda stores with a pharmacy also sign up to the service.
Your pharmacy may be able to help with:
- Hay fever
- Head lice
- Nappy rash
- Sore throat
There are a few things to remember regarding the Minor Ailment Scheme:
The minor ailment scheme is not a national scheme. It is not possible to say exactly which medical conditions are covered because this will vary depending on the location and the particular service.
The scheme is designed to offer medication to meet an acute need. It is not an opportunity for parents to stock up on free children’s medications. If a pharmacist thinks someone is abusing the system, they can refuse any request for treatment at their discretion.
The pharmacist has no obligation to provide branded medication such as Calpol. If there is a cheaper generic version available that is known to be equally effective, it is likely that will be provided instead.
(Some information obtained via http://www.nhs.uk)