MOUTH CANCER SCREENING ACCREDITIATION SCHEME PRACTICE OF THE MONTH – MEOPHAM DENTAL CARE

MONDAY 3RD MARCH 2014

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Interviews Available:    Mouth Cancer Foundation Consultant – Elizabeth Laverack

                                     Meopham Dental Care – Louise Hunt

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

Today, a leading Kent based, Meopham Dental Care, is announced as the Mouth Cancer Foundation’s ‘Practice of the Month’ for March.   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 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. 

Meopham Dental Care’s Louise Hunt outlines how Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has inspired her team to raise public awareness of mouth cancer.

Practice Name:            Meopham Dental Care

Practice Address:        Unit 1, The Mews, Wrotham Road, Meopham, Kent, DA13 0QB

Size of Practice:           2 surgeries, 1dentist, 3 nurses/receptionists, 1 hygienist and 1 dental therapist.

Practice website:         www.meophamdentalcare.co.uk

Scheme Lead:              Louise Hunt

Tell Us about Your Practice

We aim to make every patient feel welcome and completely relaxed when visiting our practice. Our highly trained staff will ensure that you receive the very best in modern private dentistry in a personalised, friendly setting. We are a mercury-free practice and have been accredited by the BDA under their Good Practice Scheme.

We take time to explain proposed treatments, and provide a comprehensive service from specialist implant services, complex cosmetic treatments to simple white fillings.

We pride ourselves on our patient care and attention to detail, aiming to make even the most nervous patient feel at ease and smile with confidence.

What attracted you to the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme?

We have always supported Mouth Cancer Awareness Week and have understood how important screening is.  We diagnosed a patient with a very early lesion in 2011 and were congratulated by the consultants for our vigilance. Early detection made a huge difference to his outcome.

The main motivation to join the programme was a patient who was diagnosed with mouth cancer 8 years ago. She has become a friend to us all allowing us to have an insight into the impact on the cancer on her and her family. We are very sad to report that this patient has sadly lost her fight with cancer and has recently died due to secondary lesions. It was this lady who notified us of the scheme and why we felt it was important for us to become members and actively support the charity. We were always keen to update her with our progress which she greatly enjoyed.

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

We try to offer the best service to patients, for example we have IHAS registration and BDA Good Practice Accreditation and we thought this was an excellent opportunity to improve our clinical governance further.  We felt joining the programme would consolidate our knowledge and demonstrate our commitment.  The accreditation has formalised our learning and referral pathways and has increased awareness of the issue for the staff and patients.  The programme has encouraged us to reach out to the local community and we have been able to support more patients with issues arising from mouth cancer and its treatment.

What benefits has Meopham Dental Care Team seen for the team, patients and wider community since introducing the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme into practice?

We have always supported and promoted the awareness of mouth cancer from within the surgery, from literature and information presented in the waiting room, to offering free screenings and Open Days. By introducing the scheme to the practice the team in its entirety we are now more aware and even better placed to support the patients more confidently. The whole team are now more eager to develop their knowledge together; with the support of the reception team and nurses, patients are now offered more helpful advice and care without even having to go into the surgery. An example of that we are all well placed to give advice to patients with a dry mouth. Keeping the patient contact away from the surgery makes the patients feel more relaxed and able to express themselves more freely.

Every month we have a discussion in our staff meeting and how we feel our progress is going and how we can change things. As a team we are doing a charity bike ride for Mouth Cancer Action Month which has received a fantastic response from our patients, some even want to join in with us! We also have recently decided to advertise our Open Day and Free Screenings on the front cover of a local publication which also received good response from the local community. We also have made connections with the local doctor’s practice and also with our local pharmacy who also promote our flyers for our Open Day.

What the Team thinks about the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme

“I am very proud to be working in a practice that takes mouth cancer seriously and I think the scheme is a great way of putting it into the forefront of patients’ minds.

I think that patients don't always realise that this is what a regular check-up includes and it is not just the teeth they are having checked.

I recently lost a friend whose cancer started in her mouth. This only accentuates to me how important it is for us and our patients to have the knowledge of what signs to look out for, so early treatment can be undertaken should anything ever be found.”

K. Elkins, Hygienist

“As a dental nurse I feel that being part of the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has made me more aware of mouth cancer and has increased my knowledge through the training it provided. I feel I can now offer our patients more advice and education when they are raising concerns, whilst also giving the upmost care and support through challenging times.”

R. Stocking, Nurse

What the Patients Say about Meopham Dental Care Team

“After some 20 years of having no dentist due to my terror of the entire species, I broke a tooth and was forced to seek urgent treatment.  This led me to Meopham Dental Care a short distance from my home.  I was seen quickly and relieved of the pain effortlessly it seemed to me, although it had taken poor Alison some time to coax me into the chair!  Gradually over the next few visits to sort out age old problems I began to trust Alison completely and have now even had fillings (albeit without the terrifying drill) and an extraction.  If I had found this practice years ago I would have had wonderful teeth and a few more of them. 

I am moving shortly to Norfolk and intend to return on a regular basis for my check-ups and also to see the Hygienist who is part of the practise and also a much trusted professional. If there's anyone else out there with a 60 year old phobia relating to dentists, please see Meopham Dental Care at your earliest opportunity.  You like me will be eternally grateful.”

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 info@mouthcancerfoundation.org or call +44 (0) 1924 950 950 for more information.

-ENDS-

For general press enquiries, please contact:

Elizabeth Ayto Laverack or Izabela Nair

Media Ambitions - +44 208 940 2222

elizabeth@mediaambitions.com

izabela@mediaambitions.com

www.mediaambitions.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Mouth Cancer Foundation – www.mouthcancerfoundation.org

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.

In the UK, nearly 8000 people are diagnosed with Mouth Cancer every year.  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. In its very early stages, these Mouth Cancers can be easy to ignore.  Symptoms include:

1. An ulcer or white or red patch anywhere in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks

2. A lump or swelling anywhere in the mouth, jaw or neck that persists for more than 3 weeks

3. A difficulty in swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue

5. A numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth

6. A feeling that something is caught in the throat

7. A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persists more than 6 weeks

8. An unexplained loosening of teeth with no dental cause

More information about Mouth Cancer is available at the Mouth Cancer Foundation web site www.mouthcancerfoundation.org or by emailing info@mouthcancerfoundation.org.

 

Microsoft Office document icon MCSAS Practice of the Month PR 01.03.14.doc