North Street Dental Care has gone 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, Christopher Minnis outlines how Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme has inspired his team to raise public awareness of mouth cancer.
Practice Name: North Street Dental Care
Practice Address: 42 North Street, Lurgan, County Armagh, BT67 9AH Size of Practice: 5 practice surgery
Practice website: www.northstreetdentalcare.co.uk
Scheme Lead: Mr Christopher Minnis
Tell us about your practice
We are a modern friendly family orientated practice offering private, cosmetic and NHS dentistry. Our practice has been established for over 45 years. Our aim is to ensure 'high quality, ethical dentistry is provided in a caring environment'.
Within the last year our practice has undergone a facelift and grown to include two new surgeries and we are now delighted to be able to offer our patients the highest standard of care in any of our 5 surgeries. Our team comprises four associates, a VDP, a hygenist, five nurses, two receptionists, and a practice manager. We also have an in-house referral system to an oral surgeon who works in our partner practice DJ Maguires & Associates.
What attracted you to the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme?
Our practice is immensely proud to be one of the few practices in Northern Ireland involved with the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation scheme.
Our practice is located on one of the busiest streets in Lurgan and we are acutely aware of our role in promoting and educating health within our local community. We are delighted to be commencing the brush bus scheme in September where we will be visiting a primary school to teach and instruct local children about tooth brushing. The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme offers us another excellent opportunity to be part of a national initiative raising awareness about this horrendous disease. We hope our participation inspires our patients' confidence that we are working tirelessly not only within our dental team but in partnership with the wider dental community to ensure all aspects of their health is in safe hands.
How has the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme helped North Street Dental Care reach best practice standards in the management of mouth cancer in general practice?
Introducing the scheme has afforded us the ideal opportunity to look at our practice approach towards examining and dealing with oral cancer. An integral part of the scheme is the '2 Minutes to Save a Life' screening protocol which dictates a 10 step thorough intra and extra-oral cancer examination. Incorporating this protocol has helped all our team calibrate our approach to the management of mouth cancer and thus provided the confidence that each and every one of our patients' is receiving the best standards of care.
In addition to the screening protocol the scheme provides guidance on talking patients through both their examination and onward referral, (if required) helping ensure the process is as swift and efficient as possible. Whilst the availability of further information via the downloadable content on the mouth cancer foundation website (such as lifestyle advice leaflets and a self examination checklist) ensures both clinicians and patients have all the information at hand to enable us tackle mouth cancer head on.
What benefits has North Street Dental Care seen for the team, patients and wider community since introducing the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme into practice?
As part of the scheme all members of our dental team has undertaken the excellent Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation scheme CPD package which is well structured and very informative including both example pictures and patient journey video clips. The CPD has provoked many lively and engaging lunchtime debates and there is a real sense of enthusiasm and pride within the practice that we are part of a wider initiative in raising awareness about such an important issue.
Being part of a scheme endorsed by the Mouth Cancer Foundation also sends a clear message to our patients and local community that we are determined to meet the best practice standards in the management of mouth cancer. Whilst also demonstrating a willingness and awareness that working with our colleagues in the wider dental community helps us to stay at the forefront of the efforts to tackle this disease.
As well as carrying out an internal audit the scheme provides each of our dentists with the opportunity to complete an online questionnaire regarding screening and referral outcomes, the responses are collated with those of the other member practices and we look forward to viewing the results of this study in the future.
What the Team thinks about the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme
"Being part of the scheme has been very useful as it provides a systematic approach to screening and also helps with decision making process in terms of what and when to refer." Elizabeth Haughey
"The Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme is useful to aid us in what to look for and how to refer patients on. This is great for early detection and improved patient care." Samantha Herron
What the Patients Say about North Street Dental Care
"Thank you for providing us all with an excellent service from reception staff to dentists, especially Sam who was our dentist & very good with me who suffered severe dental anxiety." Martina
"Thank-you for being patient and taking the time to explain my treatment, as a consequence I'm not as nervous now." Robert
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 [email protected] or call +44 (0) 1924 950 950 for more information.