Interviews Available:    Mouth Cancer Foundation Consultant – Elizabeth Laverack

                                     Wight Dental Care Practice Manager – Vanessa Hopkins

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

Today, a leading Isle of Wight based dentist, Wight Dental Care, is announced as the Mouth Cancer Foundation’s ‘Practice of the Month’ for May.   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 Practice Manager, Vanessa Hopkins outlines how the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has inspired his team to raise public awareness of mouth cancer.

Practice Name:            Wight Dental Care Limited

Practice Address:        Rink Road, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 1LP

Size of Practice:           3 dentists, 2 receptionists, 2 dental nurses

Practice website:

Scheme Lead:              Practice manager/dental nurse Vanessa Hopkins

Tell Us about Your Practice

Wight Dental Care was established in October 2010 in Ryde on the Isle of Wight.  They are a high-quality private/NHS dental practice offering a friendly personal service for the whole family.

What attracted you to the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme?

We were attracted to the scheme as we thought it was an innovative idea to increase the awareness of mouth cancer not only for our staff, but for patients in general. It is a great way to promote healthy lifestyles, and it acts as a great prompt to chat to our patients about mouth cancers risk factors, such as smoking and alcohol consumption. We also feel that it is important to become involved in national schemes to promote good practice and increased confidence in the profession of dentistry.

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

The experience has been highly valuable in bringing our practice to good practice standards. The process meant that we sat as a team to discuss mouth cancer, and worked together through the CPD, increasing our knowledge. It has also helped all team members become more aware of local referral pathways, resulting in more efficient and appropriate referrals. 

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

Taking part in the scheme has had many benefits to patients, staff and the wider community. Patients are more aware now of oral cancer risk factors, and we are now seeing a reduction in the number of patients who smoke.  Increasingly patients are reducing their consumption of alcohol. We have also been participating in other schemes, such as the upcoming national no smoking day.  This has contributed towards the improvement in lifestyle for our patients.

What the Team thinks about the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme

“Participation in the scheme has given me the confidence to address the subject of oral cancer more openly with patients, particularly younger patients who would not consider the possibility of it happening to them.”

Vanessa Hopkins, Dental Nurse/Practice Manager

What the Patients Say about Wight Dental Care  

“I have always found all staff members to be caring and understanding.”


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 01.05.14.doc