Saving Faces is committed to reducing facial injuries and diseases worldwide through research. This work took a significant step forward when Saving Faces combined with the UK's national surgical organisation, The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS), to create the National Oral and Facial Surgery Study Centre.
A WORLDWIDE PROBLEM
The current record for evidence-based surgical research worldwide is extremely poor. A patient may imagine that the treatment they are receiving is standard or has been proven to be the most effective through research. The truth is surprising: surgical techniques often vary significantly and the treatment a patient receives may depend purely on the surgeon they see.
Surgeons are often too busy to collect all but the most basic data which means that vital opportunities to study the outcomes and effectiveness of treatment are missed.
REVOLUTIONISING DATA COLLECTION
The National Oral and Facial Surgery Study Centre will transform the current situation. At its core will be a register of patients, drawn from major hospitals throughout Britain. The aim of the register is to provide a comprehensive base of scrupulously collected data for the sole purpose of scientific research.
The broad base of evidence held on the register will allow wide-ranging programmes of research to be carried out. Treatment outcomes will be studied in detail and data will be stored in non-anonymised as well as anonymised form so that, with permission, patients can be tracked over time and the long term effects of procedures analysed. All data will be held securely, with authorised access granted only for the purpose of specific study.
Taking a collaborative approach, drawing on data gathered from Britain's top facial surgeons, means the National Oral and Facial Surgery Study Centre will be able to answer vital research questions more rapidly than even the most distinguished of single institutions.
The register will be unique – there is no other database for the study of facial conditions in the world – and as such its findings will be used to advance surgical practice in the UK and worldwide.
The National Oral and Facial Surgery Study Centre will be overseen by a specially formed research committee comprising distinguished experts from the field. Applications will be approved by the committee, who will also supervise research in progress. The accuracy of data collection is central to the success of the Study Centre and to ensure this, Saving Faces will be recruiting and paying junior surgeons whose experience means that they are best placed to collect data with the utmost precision.
Two initial areas of study have already been authorised. They are:
l The effectiveness of NHS surgery for facial disfigurement.
l The effectiveness of extraction of wisdom teeth in the NHS.
Both interventions are currently under threat in the NHS and the outcomes of research carried out using the National Oral and Facial Surgery Study Centre will determine NHS policy on their future.
SUPPORT FOR THE FUTURE
The National Oral and Facial Surgery Study Centre’s ambitious aim is to continuously collect data on the outcomes of treatment received by every patient in the UK who has a mouth or facial injury or disorder. This will entail scrupulous data collection by UK surgeons and their assistants, consent by people to be followed up over time to determine the long-term results of their treatment, and studying these results to determine best treatment practice. As you can imagine it's a huge undertaking collecting this information on approximately 200,000 people annually who have this treatment. But this effort will be reap exceptional benefits for patients worldwide. These registers of British patients should uncover previously unknown causes of some disorders leading to better prevention strategies. Studying the outcomes of large numbers of patients having different treatment for the same conditions will also reveal the therapies which produce the best results. All treatment is relatively successful but these results will consign the less successful treatments for use only when no other treatment is appropriate. This alone will definitely improve patient outcomes throughout the world and the UK surgeons will lead the world uncovering this knowledge. All this costs money! And FSRF-Saving Faces is funding this whilst the UK OMF surgeons are providing the academic input. The National Joint Register, a similar undertaking costs more than £2.7 million annually. We think we can run our Centre at much less cost – around £500,000 annually – so it's a bargain! But it's still a lot of money, so we need your help.
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