Yesterday (October 22), at the House of Commons, we had the Parliamentary Launch for November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month – and what a delightful event it turned out to be!

Taking place in the Members’ Dining Room, we had a fantastic turnout, welcoming more than 150 leading figures from the world of dentistry and health, as well as many political figures, policy-makers and journalists.

Following the official opening by the Rt. Hon. Sir Paul Beresford MP, and a welcome from President of the British Dental Health Foundation, John Siebert, we had a variety of absorbing speeches, certainly opening up my eyes, to the impact which mouth cancer continues to have on people’s lives.

Mother of five, Rachel Parsons, who was diagnosed on Boxing Day 2007, spoke to the room about her experiences, as did her husband Tim, who gave a heart-warming account of what living mouth cancer does, not just to the patient, but the whole family too.

The keynote speech, from Professor Margaret Stanley OBE, from the Department of Pathology at University of Cambridge, gave a captivating insight into the emergence of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), its dangers and why we should be introducing a vaccination programme for boys.

“Men face a significant and rising risk of HPV-associated disease, and without vaccination men remain at risk. It is not fair, ethical or socially responsible to have a public health policy that leaves half of the population vulnerable to infection. This is why vaccinating men should begin immediately.”

Professor Margaret Stanley OBE

A big thank you to Senior Dental Advisor at Denplan, Dr Catherine Rutland, Sarah Bradbury of Dentist’s Provident, and David Worskett, Chairman of the Association of Dental Groups, who also took the time to speak about the campaign, it’s growing importance in raising awareness of mouth cancer, as well as the necessity of early detection.

A huge thank you to all those in attendance, who made the event so special. If you visit the campaign website, we have uploaded all the all the photographs to our Image Gallery, for everybody to have a look through. Please see below, just a small sample of those taken yesterday…

Best wishes


The Rt Hon sir Paul Beresford opens the speeches

Above: The Rt Hon sir Paul Beresford opens the speeches

Cheif Executive of British Dental Health Foundation - Dr Nigel Carter OBE

Above: Cheif Executive of British Dental Health Foundation – Dr Nigel Carter OBE

Dr Catherine Rutland

Above: Dr Catherine Rutland, Senior Dental Advisor, Denplan Limited

Sarah Bradbury, Head of Marketing and Communications, Dentists' Provident

 Above: Sarah Bradbury, Head of Marketing and Communications, Dentists’ Provident

David Worskett, Chairman, ADG

Above: David Worskett, Chairman, Association of Dental Groups

Tim Parsons telling his story

Above: Tim Parsons telling his story

Rachel Parsons telling her story

Above: Rachel Parsons telling her story

Professor Margaret Stanley delivers her speech

 Above: Professor Margaret Stanley delivers her speech


Above: Plenty to talk about at this year’s reception

The speeches prompted plenty of discussion among those present

 Above: The speeches prompted plenty of discussion among those present


Oral Health Foundation

The Oral Health Foundation is a charity that works to improve oral health by providing education, advice, and support to millions of people every year, changing lives for the better. Our mission is to support others in achieving a healthier life through better oral health. Our vision is to live in a world where everybody has a healthy mouth and is free of dental disease. Poor oral health can have a harmful and devastating effect on a person’s life – both for their physical health and mental wellbeing. We are determined to help more people achieve good oral health and have a better quality of life. Sadly, oral disease remains common, across the life course. We are taking the challenge to reduce the harm caused by poor oral health and the responsibility to create a healthier future for everybody. We do this because we believe that everybody deserves to have good oral health. To make sure this happens, by 2024, we will:

    • Work towards decreasing the prevalence of oral disease across communities.
    • Increase the number of people accessing our help and information services.
    • Diversify our range of resources to reach more communities.
    • Successfully campaign for policies which help people achieve healthier lives.
    • Generate new and nurture existing income streams that enable us to deliver our charitable objectives.

We are going to achieve success by:

    • Running awareness campaigns like National Smile Month and Mouth Cancer Action Month.
    • Giving anybody who needs it direct support through our Dental Helpline.
    • Influencing policy on subjects like dental access, sugar, and tobacco.
    • Providing consumer advice on oral health care products and working alongside manufacturers to make sure products do what they claim to do.
    • Creating resources and information that communicates positive oral health messages.
    • Working alongside others who share our passion for health and wellbeing.

To find out more about us, visit our website at

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