Christine Park BSc(Dent Sci), BDS(Hons), MSc, MFDS, MPaedDent

Job Title:

PhD Research Student


School of Simulation and Visualisation



Dental Neglect
Work from Christine Park

Dental Neglect


Christine Park

The learning needs of the dental team in relation to child protection and the development and efficacy of a novel intervention to address these needs.

Supervisors: Prof. Paul Anderson, Prof. Richard Welbury (University of Glasgow)

I previously undertook a Masters by Research at the University of Glasgow entitled “Oral Health of Children with Welfare Concerns and the Dentists Role in Child Protection”. This demonstrated that despite current training available to dentists in Scotland there remains a gap between the numbers of dentists who suspect child abuse or neglect in their paediatric patients and the numbers who refer these suspicions on appropriately. My PhD will now look into the unaddressed learning needs of the dental team with regards to child protection and aims to evaluate a novel intervention developed by the School of Simulation and Visualisation and NHS Education for Scotland for use by dentists. With the focus in healthcare recently turning to patient safety in light of the Mid Staffs enquiry the gap between those who suspect and refer must be closed as it risks the safety and wellbeing of all paediatric dental patients. Previous efforts to address the gap have included guidance such as “Child Protection and the Dental Team” (in print and online, recent national Guidance and NICE Guidelines and increased availability of child protection training courses for the whole dental team. However in 2010 15% of general dental practitioners in Scotland had never had any form of child protection training and nor had they read or accessed “Child Protection and the Dental Team”. The gap persists and with the increased interest in virtual learning it is important to evaluate whether this will reduce the gap efficiently and effectively or if there remain unmet training needs.


Harris CM, Welbury R, Cairns AM (2013) 'The Scottish dental practitioner's role in managing child abuse and neglect', British Dental Journal, 214, E24

Harris C. Welbury R (2013) 'Top tips for child protection for the GDP', Dental Update, 40(6): 438-40