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BADN is delighted to announce that the 2015 BADN Outstanding Contribution to Dental Nursing Award has been awarded to Emma Riley.

Emma is best known for her work on oral health for medically compromised, palliative and end of life patients; and research into the impact of chemotherapy drugs and radiotherapy on patients’ oral health, and the links between aspiration pneumonia and poor oral care, most notably with Macmillan Cancer Support.

Emma is a member of many support groups and professional advisory groups supporting and assisting in the writing of guidelines and oral care policies – many patients are admitted to hospital with oral mucositis due to lack of knowledge of oral care.  She is also a key board member for the UKOMIC charity, which makes her unique in the dental arena.

Emma has written a number of articles on subjects such as links between Aspiration Pneumonia and Oral Care and also on taste – something which many of us take for granted.

Emma’s tireless efforts to highlight the need for excellent oral care has been inspirational to hundreds of dental nurses and developed a whole new work stream, which has become an accepted approach and vital part of   dental nurses’ education in head, neck and thyroid patients. She has pioneered dental nurse led clinics as well as supporting and developing colleagues to provide a voluntary service. Emma has also used her skills to inform the education of allied professionals and speaks internationally to gain interest in the role of the oral health practitioner.

BADN President Fiona Ellwood said “This is the first year that BADN Council has invited all members of the dental team to nominate dental nurses whom they   consider to have made an outstanding contribution for this Award.

Emma was nominated for her extensive work, passion and drive to give oncology patients  (specifically those with oral cancer) better all round care and, in turn, a better quality of life. The role that she developed was eventually captured by Macmillan  and others followed in her footsteps. The dental-nurse led clinics  came from this enthusiasm too. I have been fortunate enough to be invited to a UKOMIC meeting and be part of Emma’s voluntary work, but more importantly heard patients’ talk of their experience as a result of her efforts. Emma has truly struck a chord with the profession, creating roles from “being nosey”, as she puts it, paving the way for others and supporting the wider healthcare profession.