The study is divided into six main tasks, also called ‘work packages’. The overall study lead is Professor Helen Whelton, who was based at the University of Leeds until the end of November 2017 and is now based at University College Cork. She and her team are the study managers and will make sure that the project stays on track and does what they said they would. Then Professor Gail Douglas is leading another team at Leeds to look at the both the past and present of oral healthcare in the different countries. Another team, led by Professor Stefan Listl in Heidelberg (Germany) will work on analysing all the data that is currently being collected from eight European countries and will interpret what this means. Another team, led by a commercial company called Aridhia Informatics (Scotland) will ensure all the data is kept safe and anonymous first of all.
They will then develop programmes to enable the project team to know which types of activities are the most important to focus on. They will also develop a patient ‘app’ to help patients be more involved in their own care. The fifth team, led by Professor Geert van der Heijden in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) will run some studies to test out how workable the planned changes are in reality. This means that they will involve dental professionals and real patients testing out various processes and procedures. The sixth team is led by Professor Ken Eaton in England (Leeds) who is responsible for making sure that information about the study’s progress and results gets to the right people through a website, the press and other media. His team will also find ways to make sure that the results of the project are put to the best possible use so that patients and practitioners get the benefit and dental care becomes more effective and less costly in Europe.