Interviews Available: Mouth Cancer Foundation Consultant – Elizabeth Laverack

                                  Brixham Dental Practice Manager – Abbie Cotterill

To set up an interview and for more information please call Media Ambitions on + 44 (0) 208 940 2222 or email

Today Brixham Dental Practice in Brixham, Devon is announced as the first ‘Practice of the Month’ for the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme in 2015. The team has proven they go 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 award-winning 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 are based at an NHS, private or mixed practice. The charity accredits dental practices that meet the criteria.

Here Dental Nurse, Harriet Carrington, outlines how the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has inspired her team to raise public awareness of mouth cancer.

Practice Name: Brixham Dental Practice

Practice Address: 19 New Road, Brixham, Devon, TQ5 8NB

Size of Practice: 3 surgeries

Practice Website:

Scheme Lead: Abbie Cotterill

Tell us about your practice. 

Brixham Dental Practice is a well established private practice in Brixham, Devon where we provide high quality dental care in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We offer extremely high level of service and pride ourselves in the professional skills of our team. Our extensive range of dental services includes advanced dental restorations and cosmetic dentistry. We have two experienced dentists who have a very sympathetic approach and always take time to listen what patients want. We have a great loyal and dedicated team whose friendly nature helps provide a high level of service to our patients. Our experienced hygienist promotes excellent preventative care and oral health advice to help patients maintain a high standard.

What attracted you to the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme?

As a practice we have always carried out a mouth cancer screening at examinations and know how important it is to look at patients’ whole dental care health. We were approached by DPAS to be part of this scheme to help our patients understand more about what we offer, especially the mouth screening aspect. We thought the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme could provide us with many benefits and we would be able to give our patients better advice about mouth cancer.

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

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has given our staff more confidence in talking to patients about mouth cancer. They can give patients correct advice and explain the importance of regular examinations. By completing the screening report and putting into place new policies and protocols, they have become more involved. We feel that the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has not only made our services better but it has also put more onus on actively carrying out thorough head and neck cancer checks.

What benefits has Brixham Dental Practice seen for the team, patients and wider community since introducing the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme in practice?

Since becoming members of the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme, we have introduced more in-house posters to tell our patients what we are looking for when carrying out an oral cancer screening. The scheme has also helped the dentists explain better what they are doing during an appointment. As a result, patients always comment on the care they receive here.

Our team also got involved in the Mouth Cancer Action Month last November donning blue lips and selling blue ribbons to help make more patients aware.

What the team thinks about the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme

“Patients are pleased we carry out an oral cancer check, they like being explained to what the dentist is looking for and are reassured when no abnormalities are noted. They leave the practice feeling very cared for.”

Harriet Carrington – Dental Nurse

“Patients come to the desk after their examination always amazed at what we have provided as a service for them. They feel we offer exceptional care and provide them with a lot of information regarding the screening to help them understand what has been carried out.”

Nicola Jackson – Head Dental Receptionist

What patients say about Brixham Dental Practice

Oral cancer is a cancer that I never thought about. After a visit to Brixham Dental Practice my new knowledge has now made mouth cancer at the top of my list of health awareness. After being checked on a regular basis by my dentist, I know that I can go home feeling all is well with my mouth.


The Mouth 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 or call +44 (0) 1924 950 950.


For general press enquiries, please contact:

Elizabeth Ayto Laverack or Izabela Nair

Media Ambitions - +44 208 940 2222


The Mouth Cancer Foundation –

The Mouth Cancer Foundation is a registered charity no. 1109298.

* The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme helps dentists to know what they are looking for and how to check and refer patients.  This will allow head and neck cancers to be caught earlier.  Head and neck cancers are particularly vicious and debilitating when detected late.  Patients who survive are a huge drain on medical resources for the rest of their lives, in terms of post operative and the psychological care required.  With earlier detection, lives are saved and costs on the NHS will reduce dramatically. 

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. 

Full membership includes access to a dedicated section of the charity website and FREE 1 hour CPD element as well as professional development and training modules suitable for all members of the practice team to ensure regular screening benefits practice patients.

The Mouth Cancer Foundation is a charity solely dedicated to supporting people affected by head and neck cancer.  Support can play a pivotal role in meeting the psychosocial needs of patients. The Mouth Cancer Foundation’s online and telephone support service has given head and neck cancer patients and families the opportunity to articulate the consequences of their cancer journey and communicate their shared experiences. It is vital that the charity continues to provide free accessible information resources and ensure Mouth Cancer Foundation support is provided to those that need them.   

About Mouth Cancer

  • Around 60,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with mouth cancer over the next decade.
  • In the UK, over 7,700 people were diagnosed with Mouth Cancer in 2011. 
  • Tobacco use is still considered the main cause of mouth cancer. According to the World Health Organisation, up to half of current smokers will die of a tobacco-related illness – including mouth cancer.
  • Drinking to excess can increase the risk of mouth cancer by four times.  Those who smoke and drink are up to 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.
  • Mouth cancer is twice more common in men than in women, though an increasing number of women are being diagnosed with the disease.
  • Age is another factor, with people over the age of 40 more likely to be diagnosed, though more young people are now being affected than previously.
  • Poor diet is linked to a third of all cancer cases.
  • Experts suggest the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), transmitted through oral sex, could overtake tobacco and alcohol as the main risk factor within the coming decade.
  • Cancers can occur in any part of the mouth, tongue, lips, and adjacent areas like the throat, salivary glands, pharynx, larynx, sinus, and other sites in the head and neck area.

Symptoms include:

  • An ulcer or white or red patch anywhere in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks.
  • A lump or swelling anywhere in the mouth, jaw or neck that persists for more than 3 weeks.
  • A difficulty in swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue.
  • A numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth.
  • A feeling that something is caught in the throat.
  • A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persists more than 6 weeks.
  •   An unexplained loosening of teeth with no dental cause.

More information about Mouth Cancer is available at the Mouth Cancer Foundation web site or by emailing


Microsoft Office document icon MCSAS Practice of the Month PR 05.01.15.doc