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Dentists should plan to reopen in ‘the next few weeks’, MPs say

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MPs have said that dentists should plan to reopen in ‘the next few weeks’.

The date is yet to be confirmed but many MPs have questioned why dentists were closed in the first place, and have said they should be open in the ‘next few weeks’ as part of the lockdown easing. 

The second phase of lockdown easing is set to go ahead on June 15th and MPs have called for dentists to be a part of the list, alongside non-essential shops. MPs including Judith Cummings have previously called for further financial support for the closed practises. 

Credit: Geo Days o/n Unsplash

Conservative MP Sir Desmond Swayne told the Telegraph that patients have been left high and dry by dentists closing during the middle of treatments. 

He added: “I can’t see why dentists were closed in the first place, and I can’t see why they can’t reopen straight away.

“We are talking about highly trained, skilled physicians who know how to protect themselves and who are accustomed to wearing PPE anyway. The reality is that patients are not being treated at the urgent centres. All the urgent centres will offer you is an extraction.”

Meanwhile, Chief Dental Officer Sara Hurley has said dentists should expect phased reopening in England 

Credit: Michael Browning / Unsplash

Dentists in the UK have been closed since the start of lockdown, as aerosol is used for most treatments. The centres that have remained open have been for emergency care only. 

Like many businesses across the country, despite furloughed staff, rent and bills still need to be paid so many are struggling. MPs and practise owners have created a petition to extend the business rate relief to all dentist practises. It now has over 10,000 signatures. 


Northern train conductor praised for helping return missing girls to their families

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El Pollock / Wikimedia & Northern Rail

A Northern train conductor has been praised for his swift action in ensuring two missing young girls were returned safely to their families.

Paul Wilkinson, who works for Northern, found the missing girls — who are both under 16 — on the Blackpool North to York train on Wednesday evening, March 22nd.

He discovered they had, in their own words, ‘run away from home’ and immediately alerted British Transport Police (BTP). BTP intercepted the teenagers on the train at Leeds and took them both into their care.

Paul Wilkinson said: “I’ve worked on the railway for nearly 16 years and you meet hundreds if not thousands of customers every day — but through experience and training you can feel when something isn’t quite right.”

“You should always trust your instincts,” he added.

Northern Rail

Chris Jackson, regional director for Northern, said: “Paul responded as any one of our staff would do when getting the sense that something wasn’t ‘quite right’ – and I applaud his actions.

“I’m glad these young girls were found and returned home.”

BTP Inspector Pete Wilcock said: “As guardians of the railway we are constantly working with and training rail staff on how to look beyond the obvious and spot the signs of children who are vulnerable or at risk.

“And we continue to work together, sharing intelligence and knowledge, to create a network of people who can understand, identify and help support and safeguard children. That’s exactly what this conductor did and, thanks to his quick thinking the girls were returned home once safeguarding checks had been completed.”

El Pollock / Wikimedia

In 2022, Northern began the process of training its 7,000-strong workforce in how to spot vulnerable people on the railway and having the confidence to intervene.

The training is provided by the charity ‘Railway Children’, whose work focusses on identifying individuals at risk and helping with early forms of intervention. Anyone can contact British Transport Police via text message on 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40.

Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.


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Linda Nolan says she’s ‘not giving up’ as she reveals cancer has spread to her brain

‘I’ve beaten it before so hopefully I can do it again’

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Linda Nolan has said she’s ‘not giving up’ and is remaining ‘positive’ after being given the news from doctors that her cancer has spread to her brain.

The singer, 64 – who was part of the family pop-group the Nolans – revealed the devastating news to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, on Monday March 27th, from her home in Blackpool. Nolan has said she will be moving in with her sister and will be using a wheelchair.

She wanted to share the update on her condition after being pictured leaving the hospital in a wheelchair just weeks after her birthday. Speaking to co-hosts Richard and Susanna live via video link, she said: “Unfortunately, sadly for me, my cancer has now spread to my brain, which I only found out on Monday.

“It’s obviously very frightening because there isn’t much out there for brain cancer at the moment, apart from radiotherapy, which I’m going to be having. But there is a new drug that’s been in use for a year, for brain cancer, and they’re going to try me on that as a chemotherapy drug with some other treatment.”


Nolan, whose group had a hit in 1979 with I’m In The Mood For Dancing, added that the treatment will mean she will lose her hair for a fourth time but joked about her sister telling her at least she had ‘some nice wigs out of it’.

She was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2005 but was given the all-clear in 2006. In 2017, cancer returned in her hip and spread to her liver in 2020. She had thought there was an issue with her spine before being given the diagnosis, after suffering three ‘quite nasty falls’, as the disease was affecting her balance.

Her sister, Anne, whom she joined on TV series The Nolans Go Cruising was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time three years ago, and is now living cancer free. Her sibling Bernie died of breast cancer in 2013, aged just 52.

@thelindsnolan / Instagram

Nolan admitted the family history of cancer was ‘really scary’ for her and her other sisters, including Denise, Maureen and Coleen. But remaining hopefull she said: “It’s about making the most of every day and being positive. I’ve beaten it before so hopefully I can do it again.”

She added: “I try not to say why me, because why not me?

“There are so many people suffering with this terrible disease but I talk about it because I can, and maybe I can help someone who is on their own and say it is ok to cry, it is ok to feel angry, it’s ok to feel sorry for yourself, but don’t let it overtake you because then cancer is winning everything and is taking your life from you.”

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Family ‘devastated beyond belief’ after dad shot dead in Manchester

‘He was his mother’s son, her pride and joy’

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The family of a dad who was shot dead in East Manchester in a targeted attack have paid tribute to him.

Zikel Bobmanuel, 32, was pronounced dead at the scene on Welland street, in Openshaw, at around 2pm on Saturday March 25th. Police believe the dad, whose youngest is six-weeks-old, was deliberately targeted.

A 33-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder while Greater Manchester Police officers are looking for a second man who is thought to have gotten away in a vehicle.

In a tribute to their loved one, Zikel’s family said: “Zikel was many things to many people, he was a good friend, a hard-working colleague, part of a large extended family, but ultimately, he was his mother’s son, her pride and joy.

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“He held the heart of his girlfriend in his hand and was a hands-on father to his beloved children — the youngest just six-weeks-old.

“Zikel was happy and fulfilled, he was working hard to provide for his family and was never more content than when he was spending time with them. It is difficult to comprehend that Zikel has died under such tragic circumstances and the shock is profound.

“We are devastated beyond belief and find it hard to comprehend life without him. We would like to thank everybody for their kind words and the comfort their support has given us, and respectfully ask for some privacy at this difficult time.”

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Detective Superintendent Simon Hurst, said: “Our thoughts are with Zikel’s loved ones at this heart-breaking time. As our investigation continues, specially trained colleagues are supporting them.

“Since yesterday afternoon, we continue to build an in-depth timeline of events leading up to Zikel’s death and we are following a number of positive lines of enquiry. Although we currently have one man in custody, work is ongoing to ensure that those involved are brought to justice.

“I would like to thank members of the public that have already shared information with us. Any information, regardless of how small, may be the key to receiving answers for Zikel’s family.

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“Whilst officers are gathering evidence from the scene and the surrounding area, anyone with information, CCTV, dashcam or doorbell footage is asked to contact police via 101 quoting incident 1771 25/3/2023.”

Details can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

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