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ACCESSING DENTAL SERVICES IN STAFFORDSHIRE

You should contact your usual practice if you need dental treatment and advice on alternative arrangements will be given.

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.

Labour County Councillors call for Household Recycling Centres in Staffordshire to be reopened urgently

Cllr Charlotte Atkins and Cllr Kyle Robinson call on Staffordshire County Council to reopen the Household waste and recycling centres.

With a surge in flytipping, advice from Staffordshire fire service against lighting bonfires and complaints from residents troubled by smoke from waste burning which aggravates their breathing difficulties, it is now time to urgently reopen Staffordshire’s household waste recycling centres. 

Labour’s Leader of the Opposition, County Councillor Charlotte Atkins and Deputy Leader County Councillor Kyle Robinson have raised their concerns with County Council leaders. Their response has been that coordination is required to ensure all waste tips open at the same time and that Government guidelines mean that drivers taking waste to tips might be fined as these trips would be classed as non essential.

County Councillor Charlotte Atkins who represents Leek South said:

‘It is perfectly possible for tips to be opened and for social distancing to be observed. People queue to get into supermarkets so why not in their cars at recycling centres? 

‘Some councils have already reopened their tips as disposing of excess waste has now become vital for many families who are generating far more while stuck at home trying to keep their children occupied and safe. I am sure our ingenious Staffordshire County staff could find a way to reopen the sites safely for limited periods with access controlled. Otherwise we are going to be

overwhelmed by more flytipping.’

County Councillor Kyle Robinson who represents the communities of Butt Lane,Talke and Red Street said:

‘I have received numerous complaints from local residents about the nuisance of an increase in people burning household waste in their gardens. This is having a detrimental impact on the health and well – being of people and putting an added burden on our local fire service.

‘I understand the desperation of families trying to dispose of excess waste by burning it. But in densely populated communities like Butt Lane, Talke, Red Street and Kidsgrove any fire impacts badly on neighbours and can be incredibly harmful to those with existing breathing difficulties. We need to have the tips reopened urgently to avoid community frustration with the lack of action turning into anger.’

Labour Group wins Citizens Advice Service Reprieve

cablogo-11The Staffordshire Labour Group’s call in of the Conservative Cabinet decision to cut funding to Staffordshire CABs by £439,000 has resulted in a rethink. Cabinet member Councillor Alan White agreed at yesterday’s Corporate Review Committee to reconsider his decision.

The proposed cuts in funding would have resulted in many smaller bureaux closing and a much reduced service in other bureaux which provide free, confidential and quality marked advice on a wide range of issues including debt, benefits and consumer information.

Leading the call in on behalf of the Labour Group, Councillor Shree Peaple said:

“The CABs provide real value for money. In the first six months of the year, for an investment of less than 59 pence per resident per year the financial return was £14.7 million, on average £17 per resident. That is in addition to helping residents deal with over £11 million worth of debt. That benefits not only local families but also local shops and businesses.  I am delighted that we have won a reprieve for Staffordshire CABs but they are not out of the woods yet as there are still hard decisions to be made”

Kyle Robinson , Labour County Council Candidate for Talke and Red Street said:

“The CAB offers expert advice to help people tackle their debt problems.  Many residents, young and old in Butt Lane, Talke Pits and Chesterton Red Street access CAB services in a time of need.  People are really struggling to make ends meet and to take away this vital service would be another blow for the local community.  People assume that only people on benefits use CAB services, but this is simply not true.  A large proportion of people who use the service are in work.  I am also aware that many disabled people turn to the CAB for support, especially when seeking work.  The County Council must think again and ensure that the most vulnerable people in our community get the support they need and deserve.  You never know when you might need to access this service yourself.”

Councillor Sue Woodward, Leader of the Labour Group said,

“With the petition in favour of saving our CABs already running at over 11,500, this reflects the real value Staffordshire residents put on these services. We must now find a fairer and more positive solution. I am pleased that our call in was so successful.”

Please sign the petition if you haven’t already: https://www.change.org/p/staffordshire-county-council-help-protect-local-citizens-advice-services-across-staffordshire