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Please note: Online bookings for this event have now closed. If you still wish to attend the event is open for walk-ins. For any queries, please email [email protected]

What to expect

Delegates will listen to various lectures on a variety of topics from various speakers, with the opportunity to ask questions at the end. The Northern Ireland Division AGM will take place before lunch for members only.


09:00 Registration and refreshments

09:30 Challenges facing HSC Dental Services and Workforce Planning including CDS - Caroline Lappin

10:30 Morning break

11:00 Dysphagia and dentistry - Kathryn McKenna

11:45 Special Care Dentistry treatment planning session - Kathryn McKenna

12:15 CDS Group President's address - Ken Hughes

12:30 Division AGM, members only

13:00 Lunch

13:55 Outline of Colgate products - Stephanie Gribben

14:15 Improving oral health in patients with swallowing difficulties - a collaborative approach - Karen Maxwell and Fiona Hillen

15:15 Role of pharmacy in dental care – supporting patients together - Mary-Carmel Kearney

16:15 Discussion and questions

16:30 Close

Learning objectives

  • Raise awareness of current issues affecting NI HSC dentistry delivery and workforce planning 
  • Improve knowledge of causes of dysphagia and confidence in dental management 
  • Increase knowledge in SCD treatment planning 
  • Understand how nutritional care plans affect oral health, apply strategies to mitigate risks for dysphagia and malnutrition 
  • Increase awareness of guidance available for medicine-related issues and of pharmacist support.

Development outcomes

A, B, C and D

Meet the speakers

Caroline Lappin Caroline Lappin
Kathryn Mckenna Kathryn McKenna
Karen Maxwell Karen Maxwell
Fiona Hillen Fiona Hillen
Mary Carmel Kearney Mary-Carmel Kearney

Appointed to the post of Chief Dental officer (CDO) for the Department of Health in November 2021. Prior to joining the Department, Caroline was Clinical Director of Community Dental Services in South Eastern HSC Trust from August 2016.

Caroline graduated with BDS with Distinction in Dental Surgery from Queen’s University Belfast in 1999 and completed Vocational Training, before working in General Dental Practice and Hospital Dentistry. Clinically, Caroline spent almost 14 years working within prison dental services in Northern Ireland.
Caroline has had a particular interest in Leadership and Management in Healthcare and gained an MSc with Commendation in this field in 2017. She has also contributed to several research projects looking at improving oral health of older people, including those in Care Homes.
Caroline has taken up post in a period of unprecedented challenges in Dentistry and the wider Health system, and is keen to secure dental services that deliver oral health and wider public health benefits to the population.

Kathryn qualified from Queens University Belfast in 2005. After working as a staff grade in Special Care Dentistry for several years she undertook formal specialist training in this field, obtaining her Diploma in Special Care Dentistry from the RSCEng in 2016 and Membership in Special Care Dentistry from the RCPS Glasgow in 2018.

After graduating from Queens University Belfast, Karen worked in both general dental practice and hospital dental services in Scotland before taking up her first dental officer post in North Manchester. That was the start of a career within Community Dental Services that has spanned almost 28 years. Having worked across all aspects of the service she has developed a special interest in the oral health of older people and dependant adults. Big on prevention and skill mix within the dental team and beyond she is proud to work collaboratively with supportive, skilled and passionate colleagues across primary care who provide a high quality service for their Special Care Patients.

Clinical Specialist Dysphagia Dietitian, South Eastern H&SC Trust, part of the multi-disciplinary Dysphagia Support Team since 2018. 15 years’ experience working in England, Wales and Northern Ireland across a variety of settings including acute and community Dietetics. Dietetic clinical background in acute stroke, neurology and neurosurgery. Passionate about transforming practices and outcomes through collaborative quality improvement.

Following graduation from Queen's University Belfast in 2012, with a first-class honours degree in Pharmacy, Mary-Carmel completed her pre-registration in community practice. She returned to Queen's University to pursue a PhD in microneedle-mediated drug delivery and graduated in 2016. Following this she worked as a Research Fellow and Teaching Associate at the School of Pharmacy. In 2018, she was appointed as a Lecturer (Education). Mary-Carmel’s teaching is primarily focused on the pharmacy practice elements of the MPharm course. She is interested in the evolving clinical roles within pharmacy and in preparing students for their practice. She has previously developed and delivered training for pharmacy and dental professionals. Mary-Carmel also continues to work as a locum community pharmacist.

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Others have said

Great opportunity to catch up with colleagues face to face in a lovely venue.