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Dental service nothing to smile about

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udasHYWEL DDA UHB has confirmed that investments will be made into the provision of NHS dental care in South Pembrokeshire after it was revealed that the region had ‘the lowest amount of contracted dental activity in the whole Health Board area.

Data provided by Hywel Dda showed that only three of 51 dental practices with the Health Board across an area which corresponds with Dyfed are in this area – Pembroke, Pembroke Dock, and Narberth.

NHS dental provision is measured in units of dental activity (UDAs). Of the 516,306 UDAs delivered across the health board area, just 17,224 were in south Pembrokeshire – and area with a population of 55,188 according to figures based on GP registration. This gives an average of 0.31 UDAs per resident.

In contrast, North Pembrokeshire, which has a population of 63,127, delivered 104,352 UDAs, at an average of 1.65 per head of population. In other words, there is more than FIVE TIMES the NHS dental provision in the north of the county compared to the south.

Across Carmarthenshire, the average was around 1.5 UDAs per head. Nowhere in the Hywel Dda health board area had less than 3.5 times the number of UDAs of South Pembrokeshire.

Joyce Watson, Labour AM for Mid and West Wales, raised complaints made to her by constituents concerning dental provision with Hywel Dda UHB.

In a letter to Ms Watson, Hywel Dda confirmed that the south of the county ‘has the lowest amount of contracted dental activity in the whole Health Board area’.

However, the response went on to say: “I am pleased to advise, the Health Board has commenced a Commissioning / Tender process, to seek GDS providers in South Pembrokeshire. This will result in an additional £340,000 investment in into GDS in South Pembrokeshire.

“It is our expectation the new services will commence in December 2015 or Jan 2016 either from new NHS Practices, or by way of additional activity in current NHS Practices.”

Ms Watson welcomed the news: “The health board has recognised that there aren’t enough NHS dental services in the area; but from the end of this year or the beginning of next year there will be more money for more services, which is very good news for patients,” she said.

“I look forward to learning where and when the new services will be available.”

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Campers from Cardiff sent packing

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PEMBROKESHIRE Road Policing Unit (Pembrokeshire RPU) have this morning, June 5, reported nine individuals for breaching coronavirus regulations.

The occupants of the three vehicles, all from the Cardiff area, had moved barriers that had been in place to close off the carpark to the public and set up camp for the night.

A Pembrokeshire RPU spokesperson said ‘Three vehicles from the Cardiff area located at Abereiddy this morning.

“The occupants of the vehicles, who’d travelled down overnight, had moved the barriers that had been used to close the car park. Having done so they then set up camp nearby.

“All nine persons present were reported for breaching coronavirus regulations. One was further dealt with by means of an out of court disposal for possession of cannabis.

“Rubbish cleaned up, car park closure reinstated, vehicles escorted out of Pembs.”

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Police urge visitors to ‘check the rules’

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POLICE in Powys are reminding people to check the rules before they travel, as tourists from the Midlands, London and Bristol continue to visit despite lockdown restrictions.

Last weekend more than 1,000 cars were turned around by police in the Brecon Beacons after visitors attempted to access the area around Ystradfellte known as ‘waterfall country’.

Many of those stopped claimed they thought the rules around travel were the same as in England, while others had deliberately flouted them.

Seventy-two per cent of people reported for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in Powys since March 27 have been from outside the police force area.

“I would like to thank the communities of Powys for their cooperation in recent months in complying with requirements of the Covid 19 legislation and also reassure them we are still working hard with our partners to police the restrictions that remain in place across Wales,” said Superintendent Steve Davies.

“Our officers have worked hard to engage with the public at every opportunity throughout these unprecedented times by explaining what we are doing and why, and encouraging people to make the best choices to protect public health in Wales.

“But where people have clearly flouted the rules we have dealt with them appropriately and issued fines.”

He said officers will continue to conduct stop checks throughout Powys and across the force area this weekend.

In England, people can now travel an unlimited distance for exercise and to access so-called ‘beauty spots’.

But the Welsh Government has said people must remain local – ideally not travelling further than five miles from their home – for exercise or limited leisure pursuits, and this also applies to anyone travelling across the border.

Wales’ three national parks – which include popular sites such as Snowdon, the Elan valley and the Pembrokeshire coast – currently remain closed to the public, as do all National Trust car parks and properties.

The latest Welsh Government advice is available at gov.wales/coronavirus.

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Coastal car parks at beauty spots remain closed

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THE RECENT changes in regulations reinforce that movement is restricted to your local area.

This has been identified by the Welsh Government as an approximation of a five mile radius from your home.

Members of two separate households from the same local area (not travelling more than five miles) can now meet outdoors, as long as they maintain social distancing.

You should aim to meet another local household as close to your home as possible. Always take care to maintain social distancing and hand hygiene.

Pembrokeshire County Council car parks at attractions and beauty spots (including public toilets) currently remain closed so you should check before travelling.

They remain closed as a clear message that travel remains restricted, and associated tourism amenities remain closed.

A critical point for all to note is that lifeguards are not currently patrolling beaches and toilets and other facilities are not open.

Full details of the car parking facilities which remain open for the local community can be found on the Council’s website:
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/emergency-planning/service-changes

Councillor Phil Baker, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure said: “The emphasis is on careful, structured unlocking, and not to put in danger any of the recovery measures that relate to public health and not to undo the safeguarding that lockdown has delivered.

“We will continue to review and monitor this carefully and take cautious, measured steps only to provide the benefits of the eased regulations without putting our residents at risk.”

Motorists are reminded not to contravene parking restrictions – such as yellow lines – where they exist as parking enforcement is still being undertaken.

As with other service areas, car parks will be reviewed in line with current advice.

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