Interviews Available:    Mouth Cancer Foundation Consultant – Elizabeth Laverack

                                    Community Dental Clinic Oral Health Educator – Lynn McCutcheon 

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

Today, Community Dental Clinics which form part of the East Cheshire NHS Trust are announced as the Mouth Cancer Foundation’s ‘Practice of the Month’ for December. 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’re based at an NHS, private or mixed practice.  The charity accredits dental practices that meet the criteria. 

Here Oral Health Educator, Lynn McCutcheon outlines how the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has inspired her team to raise public awareness of mouth cancer.

Practice Name: Community Dental Clinics, East Cheshire NHS Trust

Practice Address: Alsager Primary Care Centre, Sandbach Road, Alsager, Cheshire, ST7 2LU

Size of Practice: Team of 31 working in 5 clinics

Practice website:

Scheme Lead: Lynn McCutcheon

Tell Us about Community Dental Clinics

We are dedicated to providing a dental service which meets the requirements of the local population. We provide a service for phobic or apprehensive children and adults who are unable to access treatment with a General Dental Practitioner (GDP); physically, mentally or medically compromised children and adults; elderly persons unable to obtain treatment with a GDP; patients referred to us by a colleague; patients who require specialised care e.g. surgical dentistry, RA/GA, domiciliary care.

What attracted you to the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme?

Our Oral Health Education team were developing the Mouth Cancer Action Month project and read about the scheme on the Mouth Cancer Foundation website. The scheme encourages risk education and early detection of this increasing disease so we felt it was a good tool to help us raise awareness with the whole dental team and the general population living in our health area.

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

Meeting the criteria for the scheme involved all dental staff. Participating in the scheme has helped us to focus on the criteria for the scheme at team meetings and review current practice in relation to mouth cancer. The CPD has raised awareness with the whole team and the templates provided have been useful in developing the policy for mouth cancer management. 

What benefits have Community Dental Clinics seen for the team, patients and wider community since introducing the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme into practice?

The scheme has provided an opportunity to review what systems were in place for early detection and onward referral when appropriate and signpost for preventative advice and support. The whole dental team has gained verifiable CPD in this relevant subject and the Mouth Cancer Foundation has provided some extremely useful resources to support our screening events and raise awareness with the general public.

What the Team thinks about the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme

“I have been pleased to take part in the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme. The team has benefited from the training provided as part of the scheme. I am involved in providing dental care for patients who have been treated for mouth cancer. I see the profound effects that treatment can have on a person’s quality of life. Even when he treatment for mouth cancer has been successful, the long term effects can be unpleasant and difficult to cope with. The emphasis on prevention and early diagnosis promoted by the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme is important in helping to reduce the impact mouth cancer has on patients and their families. I recommend the scheme to other dental practices.”


Participating in the MCSAS and completing the CPD training has been useful. It highlighted a few different things i.e. signs to look for, causes, detection and treatment available.

Dental helpline co-ordinator

Due to the amount of elderly people that we see in nursing homes and their own home, the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has made us become more aware of the importance of screening the mouth for oral cancer. We also see many emergency patients who are non attendees, often smokers and can educate them about the risks of oral cancer.  I am now more confident in my increased knowledge and skills due to the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme.”

Dental Nurse/Oral Health Educator

What the Patients Say about Community Dental Clinics

“This practice has a warm and welcoming feel to it and the service is very good.”


“The staff are excellent at accommodating his needs and are very caring. My brother can't be rushed and they have to take their time with him.”


“My disability is never a problem, nor is the length of time it takes me to get on and off the dentist chair. Staff are always willing to help. Also I cannot be lowered in the dentist chair quickly due to my condition. Again, the staff show knowledge in respect to this and understanding and patience.”


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 or call +44 (0) 1924 950 950 for more information.



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 01.12.14.doc