Mouth Cancer Foundation – ‘our inspiration’

Today, the Mouth Cancer Foundation announces The Red House Dental Practice in Malton, North Yorkshire as its ‘Practice of the Month’.

The Red House Dental Practice has gone above and beyond to implement the charity’s Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme so was chosen from all dental practices across the UK who have signed up to the charity’s new scheme.

By joining the scheme, the dental practice is placing the onus on their own team to actively prove they are carrying out a thorough head and neck cancer check at routine appointments.

The scheme is a ‘Two minutes to save a life’ screening protocol, which is a 10-point checklist that every dentist should be able to include in their routine examinations, whether they’re based at an NHS, private or mixed practice.  The charity accredits dental practices that meet the criteria.

Here, Richard Marsden outlines how Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has inspired his team to raise public awareness of mouth cancer.

Practice Name:            The Red House Dental Practice

Practice Address:        Victoria Road, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 7JJ

Size of Practice:           3 surgery practice with 3 dentists (one part time) and a part time hygienist.

Practice website:

Scheme Lead:              Richard Marsden

Tell Us about Your Practice

The Red House Dental Practice is situated in the lovely market town of Malton. It is a family orientated private and Denplan practice which is a Gold member of the British Dental Associations ‘Good Practice’ scheme. It is also an accredited member of the Mouth Cancer Foundation’s Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme and each of its three dentists are Denplan Excel accredited.

The practice aims to provide consistently high standards of dentistry in a professional yet friendly environment. Post graduate training is very much to the fore at the Red House with Practice owner, Richard Marsden, recently gaining the Certificate in Dental Implantology from the Cambridge Academy of Dental Implantology. Associate Mark Bentley is currently working towards a similar qualification in Endodontics (root fillings), and part-time associate Susan Marsden is working towards the Denplan Stairway qualification. All of the Red House team is friendly, highly trained and committed to high standards of care for patients.

What attracted you to the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme?

We were attracted to the scheme because we had seen one of our patients, who we had referred to the local hospital go through treatment of oral cancer. This has been very traumatic for him and his family and thankfully he is now making a good recovery. His case highlighted to everyone at our practice that an early referral, diagnosis and treatment is essential for any patient who is subsequently diagnosed with mouth cancer. We wanted to ensure that our whole team was highly trained in Oral Cancer and that the procedures and protocols we had in place were up to date and as effective as possible. Working towards the Mouth Cancer Foundation’s accreditation seemed an excellent way of achieving this.

How has the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme helped The Red House Dental Practice reach best practice standards in the management of mouth cancer in general practice?

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has improved our standards in the management of oral cancer in the following ways:

a) All the staff has received a minimum of two hours verifiable C.P.D. training in Oral Cancer which has included both online and in house training. The whole team is now very aware of the necessity of early referral and treatment in suspected oral cancer cases.

b) The training has led to improved extra, and intra oral examinations at every adult check up. The documentation of this is also better now. Our cancer screening is thus much improved.

c) The referral procedures and protocols relating to oral cancer have been updated and refreshed.

d) Our patients are now much more aware of the risk factors (they are asked about smoking and drinking habits at every check up) and we publicise the Mouth Cancer Foundation to them with a poster in the waiting room and with badges which all the staff wear.

What benefits has The Red House Dental Practice seen for the team, patients and wider community since introducing the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme into practice?

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has been of great benefit to the Red House, its patients and the wider community in a number of ways.  Firstly, the knowledge if the whole team has improved in relation to oral cancer. This means our extra and intra oral examinations for our patients are more thorough, and better documented. It also means the subject is less shrouded by fear and mystery and the whole team is happy to discuss risk factors with our patients. Having open discussions with patients about oral cancer increases their awareness of the subject and this is more likely to spread correct information throughout the wider community.

Secondly, the Red House has improved its practice policy on oral cancer and updated and improved its referral pathways. This means patients with suspicious lesions will be referred quickly and efficiently to the correct consultant. Early diagnosis being essential to improving the prognosis of the patient, we thereby hope to catch any lesions before they have a chance to spread.

Finally, the patients of the practice know about the Mouth Cancer Foundation through our newsletter, a poster and leaflets in the waiting room, and the badges worn by all the team. We are also running a Mouth Cancer Awareness Day in September where anyone in the community with a concern can attend for a free mouth cancer check with one of our dentists.

What the Team thinks about the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme

“I feel that the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has raised awareness for the whole team meaning that we can help our patients further.” Edie (Practice Manager)

“I think the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has been a great way of increasing both staff and patient knowledge of oral cancer in order to help improve the survival rates of the disease.”

What the Patients Say about The Red House Dental Practice

”My last check up included an examination of my neck and whole face as well as my teeth. I left feeling more aware of the importance of looking for the signs of oral cancer. It was really reassuring to know that my dentist was knowledgeable about the signs he was looking for.’ Mrs S.J.

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme is open to any dental practice whose clinicians are registered with the GDC.  For more information or to join please contact the Mouth Cancer Foundation via [email protected] or call +44 (0) 1924 950 950 for more information.

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