NHS Lanarkshire smile award as they pick up two dental awards

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 16:32 BST on Friday 13th July 2012.
There was a double celebration at the national 2012 Dental Awards when NHS Lanarkshire picked up two awards.
Elaine Sharp, senior oral health educator based in Douglas Street Community Health Clinic, Hamilton, was named Oral Health Promoter of the Year, while NHS Lanarkshire’s Oral Health Team was named Team of the Year (North).
Elaine became the first person in Scotland to win this award and the Oral Health Team repeated its success in 2008.
The awards ceremony, which took place at the Lancaster London Hotel, is regarded as the dental Oscars.
The awards were achieved for the work the team and Elaine have undertaken over the past year which includes the production of the ‘Harry and Molly’s Adventures’ series which is targeted at nursery and primary school children to promote good oral health.
The ‘Harry and Molly’s Adventures’ initiative was one the Oral Health Team worked in conjunction with NHS Lanarkshire’s Health Improvement Team and North Lanarkshire Council who both wrote, designed, edited and evaluated the written teaching materials.
Elaine said: “To be shortlisted for these awards was fantastic but to actually win them is amazing.
“I’m naturally personally delighted to have won my award, but I’m as equally delighted for the team.
“It’s recognition not only for all the hard work they do but also for their creativity and professionalism.”
The oral health of children in Lanarkshire has been improving over the recent years.
However, the number of children with decayed or missing teeth remains above the national average.
The team continues to tackle this through its early years and primary school work to encourage and promote tooth brushing, healthy eating and the Childsmile fluoride varnishing programme which is aimed at nursery school children.
Albert Yeung, consultant in dental public health at NHS Lanarkshire, said: “The early years are a crucial stage in the development of  healthy lifestyles.
“This is why initiatives such as ‘Harry and Molly’s Adventures’, are so vital to ensure that the behaviour we’re promoting become lifelong habits for all children and their families.”
Interim chair of NHS Lanarkshire Neena Mahal said: “I want to congratulate both Elaine and the Oral Health Team on these awards.
“It’s testimony to the excellent work undertaken by the Dental Public Health team here in Lanarkshire.”