Interviews Available:    Mouth Cancer Foundation Consultant – Elizabeth Laverack

                                    Wickersley Dental Practice  Principal Dentist – Richard Mitchell

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

Today, a leading Rotherham based dentist, Wickersley Dental Practice, is announced as the Mouth Cancer Foundation’s ‘Practice of the Month’ for April.   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. 

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

Practice Name:            Wickersley Dental Practice Limited

Practice Address:        20 Morthen Road, Wickersley, Rotherham, S66 1EU

Size of Practice:           3 surgeries, 2 full time dentists, 1 hygienist

Practice website:

Scheme Lead:              Principal Dentist, Richard Mitchell

Tell Us about Your Practice

Wickersley dental practice is a well-established practice. We have been providing a full range of exclusively private dental care since 2006. This allows us to practice our philosophy which is to produce the highest quality of service and treatment to our patients by focusing on lower volumes of patients.

Our team are well established within the practice and are a vital element to our success and the care we provide to our patients. We as a team constantly strive to improve for the benefit of our patients.

What attracted you to the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme?

In April 2012 one of our team members was diagnosed with mouth cancer. Thankfully the diagnosis was made early and after a very long and difficult year of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy she is well on the road to recovery.

Being a small close team the news came as a great shock to us all. It did however focus our attention on how we could help with early diagnosis for all our patients. MCSAS came along just at the right time for us and we jumped at the chance to become a pilot practice.

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

The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has helped us to build upon our previous mouth cancer screening procedures and develop, over time, a more systematic approach. It has also helped us to develop written protocols and referral pathways. Every member of the practice has a role to play and each is now aware of the importance of their role in providing this vital screening for all of our patients.

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

By introducing the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme into our practice we have seen numerous benefits. We have taken the opportunity to discuss '2 minutes to save a life' with our patients explaining the importance of regular screening. Our patients have been very appreciative of the screening and are both amazed and grateful at the extent of the examination which we carry out during their routine examination until know most were unaware that we checked their mouths for cancer at all.  There is no doubt that it has acted as a practice builder and helped us to stand out from the crowd. It is yet another example of the excellence in care we strive to provide for for our patients and the response that we get is that they greatly appreciate it.

We are also able use the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme within our marketing strategy for the practice.

Staff too have benefited giving them a more structured focus on mouth cancer and also an increased awareness of the roles they play which has helped increase job satisfaction within the team. All members of the team have enjoyed the development throughout this process.

What the Team thinks about the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme

“I've worked at Wickersley Dental Practice for over 15 years. The reason I have stayed so long is the satisfaction I get from working as part of an experienced dental team committed to the care of our patients. Constantly striving to provide the best that modern dentistry can provide for our patients it was no surprise that we embraced the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme for the benefit of our patients. Knowing that we can make a difference and could save a life makes it all worthwhile.”

Shirley Gasby, Practice Manager

What the Patients Say about Wickersley Dental Practice  

I first met you in 1996, when I was forty eight years of age. You had joined a dental practice in Worksop, where I had been a regular patient for many years. I had a mouthful of silver fillings, a denture that replaced a missing tooth and a crooked front tooth. I rarely smiled.

Within a short space of time, you completely transformed my appearance, with crowns, a bridge and white fillings. You also took away my fear of needles and drills! I still cannot adequately express my gratitude, nor explain fully the impact that your work had on my self-esteem.  No wonder that I followed you when you set up your own practice in Wickersley! 

Thirteen years later, at the age of sixty one, I had started to feel self-conscious due to receding gums. After listening to your advice, I decided to go ahead and have my old crowns removed and new ones fitted.  

I am absolutely delighted with the result. The entire procedure was painless and I felt relaxed throughout. My new crowns look natural and the gum line is fantastic. I never imagined that it could be this successful! Please show the before and after picture to anyone who is considering having similar work done.

Thank you again Richard. You are skillful, patient, gentle and extremely professional. I am fortunate to have you as my dentist. Thanks also to the wonderful dental technician who created my crowns.”

Lesley Crompton.

“I had not visited a dentist because of a previous bad experience for several years until I was recommended to Wickersley Dental practice by a friend. I can honestly say that after extensive treatment I have no hesitation in recommending the practice to anyone.

I found the experience pleasant and rewarding. Having good dental health does wonders for your confidence. Take it from me you are in the best hands at Wickersley.”

Mr Carl Harris

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.

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 or by emailing


Microsoft Office document icon MCSAS Practice of the Month PR 01.04.14.doc