Town’s dentists sign up
for new NHS contracts
by Terry Johnson
JUST two of Warrington’s 26 health service dentists have refused to sign up for new NHS contracts, which came into force at midnight.
Dental practices at Culcheth and Stockton Heath have opted out of the new regime.
It means that Government money for NHS services will now be withdrawn from them and re-distributed by the Primary Care Trust – on the basis of greatest need – to certain of the 24 practices that have accepted contracts.
A PCT spokeswoman said: “One dental practice at Culcheth, which had a small contract for children and some exempt adults, has declined the NHS contract – though a second Culcheth practice has increased capacity to cover for lost patients.
“A dentist in Dundonald Avenue, Stockton Heath, has also declined a contract”.
Figures show that 59 per cent of Warrington residents have access to a NHS dentist, some nine per cent higher than the national average.
The PCT says that NHS dentistry changes should provide better access and a simpler charging system.
From today (Saturday) there will be just three banding charges for all NHS treatment, replacing a bewildering 400-plus separate charges.
Maximum charges for a complex course of treatment are cut from ?384 to ?189. Most treatment, however, will cost ?15.50 or ?42.40.
People with higher treatment needs may go more often to the dentists. But those with good oral health may only need to attend once every 12 to 24 months.
Patients can access NHS dentistry outside of Warrington, near to work or along a bus route.
The PCT spokeswoman said only one Warrington practice ? at Westbrook – is accepting new NHS patients. Those people without a regular dentist and in need of urgent treatment should go to the Dental Access Centre, Cockhedge Shopping Park between 9.00am-9.00pm Monday-Thursday and 9.00am-5.30pm Friday and Saturday.
An extra ?1.1m has been invested in the town’s dentistry over the last two years. The dental workforce has been increased by six.
“Green Flag” award
by Mark Hemmings
PUPILS at Newchurch Primary School, Culcheth near Warrington, are celebrating an environmental success after being awarded their first Green Flag ?Eco award.?
The school has introduced a number of new initiatives including an ?eco garden? with a pond, planters and a composter as well as recycling stations.
Their efforts to show a commitment to looking after the environment earned them their Green Flag status.
Year 3 and Year 1 teachers, Mrs Turner and Mrs Glass were responsible for co-ordinating the ?green campaign? and praised local firms and individuals who had helped.
In particular Vodafone donated ?1,000 and sent out four workers to help paint fences.
Mrs Turner said: ?Without help from the local community, we could not have achieved our goal.?
to support parents
by staff reporter
WARRINGTON-based charity The Relationships Centre has launched a national initiative to support the ?Parents Side by Side? project over three years.
The Families Together service will provide support specifically for parents who are or have been affected by issues of unhealthy relationships. The project will offer support via helpline, email, website, online coaching, parenting forums and interactive CD ROMs.
Parents can now call a helpline on 01925 246922 and speak to one of a supportive team about the problems they may be experiencing with children.
The project is funded by the Department for Education and Skills (DFES) and Strengthening Families Grant (SFG). The grant is to support and develop activities which enable families to get access to the information, help and advice they want at the time they need it.
Director of Services Pam Skelham said: ?Our work at The Relationships Centre focuses on informing, supporting and ultimately empowering clients to find alternative healthy solutions and reduce family tension.
?We are pleased to have secured funding for this project, to utilise our expertise in supporting parents?.
Museum’s “unique atmosphere”
THE ?unique atmosphere? of 150-year-old Warrington Museum, with its mix of quirky historical displays, quality exhibitions and appeal to families has won a national visitor-experience award.
An assessor who made a covert visit to the Bold Street building found that it gave full access to the less mobile, impressed for its cleanliness and sold excellent lines at the museum shop.
A borough council spokeswoman said: “Museum staff are delighted with this visitor attraction accreditation”.
Car park wins
by staff reporter
DRIVERS can rest assured that they are parking their cars in safety, when they park at Warrington Market’s multi storey car park on Academy Way.
The Council owned car park has achieved the standards required for the seventh consecutive year, and has again been awarded the Park Mark Safer Parking Award, sponsored by the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office.
The scheme sets standards for car parks nationally and takes account of measures to deter criminal activity and create a safer environment for the motorist and their vehicle.
It also examines operational procedures and reflects well on the Council and its contractors alike to maintain standards of surveillance, accessibility and managerial best practice.
Planners asked to
by staff reporter
PLANNING chiefs are to be asked to resolve a dispute involving the placing of 19 storage containers on land adjoining the Osnath Works in Lythgoes Lane, Warrington.
Occupiers of neighbouring properties say the containers use up land needed to relieve parking congestion on surrounding streets and that some are on land outside the control of the applicant.
They claim they are also damaging to the street scene and could lead to traffic problems.
An earlier proposal for planning consent for the containers are thrown out on the grounds they cause damage to the visual amenity of Norman Street, removed off-street parking provision for the Osnath Works and added to street parking problems.
But planners now say the applicant has amended the scheme to exclude areas within the public highway and the remaining containers can be used without any significant impact on the servicing of the site or surrounding roads.