NFORC is the National Facial Oral and Oculoplastic Research Centre funded by Saving Faces – The Facial Surgery Research Foundation.

What is NFORC

The late beloved patron Alan Rickman, opened the NFORC launch event in November 2014NFORC is the UK’s OMFS Head and Neck Surgical Trials Unit. The centre has resulted from a collaboration between the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS) and Saving Faces, the two national charities devoted to oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS).

Our mission is to assist OMF surgeons to develop their clinical research ideas from first thoughts to successful project grant and ethics bids, and then onto multi-centre prospective randomised controlled trials or cohort research. This work will almost always determine the evidence for best treatment practice so patients worldwide will benefit. The surgeon will benefit either as chief investigators, or simply data collectors or recruiters of patients into trials and national audits.

What we do

  • We conduct prospective randomised controlled trials, cohort research and OMFS audits;
  • We provide OMF surgeons with advice from statisticians, health economists, systematic reviewers, psychologists, sociologists and allied health professionals;
  • We help design electronic questionnaires for peer review;
  • We assist the chief investigator with enlisting students, trainees and consultants to make the study multi-centre.

Compared to any other trials unit, we are the only research centre solely dedicated to OMFS research. Our service is free of charge.

Why get involved with us

Taking part in NFORC activities will enable clinicians of any grade to enhance their career profile by demonstrating research engagement. We provide NFORC participation certificates, endorsed by BAOMS, which can be used as part of appraisal portfolios. In addition, there will be opportunities for those who contribute the most cases to any project, to be named authors in the peer reviewed publications generated by the research.

NFORC is very experienced in all stages of planning, conducting and disseminating clinical trials within NHS settings.

Contact NFORC

If you have a research idea that you would like to discuss further about, please contact the research team or call 020 3417 7757 and our researchers will be only too happy to advise on your project. For more information, visit

  • NFORC Launch – NFORC was officially launched in November 2014. The Launch event was attended by health care professionals across the spectrum of head and neck clinical care including an address from NHS England’s Medical Director, Sir Bruce Keogh. Along with a number of other leading surgeons and dentists, world-famous actor and Saving Faces Patron, Alan Rickman officially opened the centre along with award-winning journalist, Jon Snow.
  • NFORC has hosted a variety of open and closed research summits since its launch. The Skin Research Summit, held in January 2015, in particular generated a number positive leads for collaborative research projects including developing a skin carcinoma database in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons.
  • NFORC has sought to create strong links with BAOMS and OMFS trainees. These trainees are (or will shortly be) on the front line of clinical care, and their links with NFORC will equip them with a ‘research mind’ and ensure trainees are perfectly placed to identify current gaps in our knowledge and plan future studies.
  • In May 2016, Saving Faces researchers presented current projects to a group of surgical trainees at the Dental School at The Royal London Hospital. The trainees found all the projects very exciting, asked lots of questions and even offered to help screen patients!
  • In December 2016, NFORC hosted a free maxillofacial and Head & Neck trainee collaborative research summit. This included ‘train the trainer’ sessions, an introduction to Saving Faces’ flagship project, the National Head and Neck Audit (HANA) and a ‘Dragons Den’ panel discussing proposals for new studies submitted by trainees.
  • In May 2019, NFORC hosted the first head and neck and oculoplastic collaborative research summitt with BOPSS. The event showcased pioneering research on past, current and upcoming studies from top consultants and researchers including an on-going trial on the use of hilotherm cooling therapy in adnexal surgery, and other potential research ideas aimed to improve the treatments of patients with eye-related diseases were presented.
  • In June 2019, NFORC held a NFORC/BAOMS Collaborative Research Summit for medical students and trainees. Professors Iain Hutchison, Zbys Fedorowicz and Arthur Tucker opened the research summit with informative talks on research methodology, systematic reviews and ethics. This was followed by presentations by eight shortlisted medical students who each presented their research proposals to the audience and research panel. Each presenter received feedback on how they could move their research projects forward.

NFORC currently has a wide portfolio of ongoing clinical research trials focused on topics in oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS), head and neck oncology as well as associated specialties. Visit the NFORC website to view all the projects here.

  • HANA: After more than ten years, development and management of the National Head and Neck Audit has moved from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC, now NHS Digital) to Saving Faces – The Facial Surgery Research Foundation.
    • Under this new management team the audit has been renamed the Head and Neck Cancer Audit (HANA) and the underlying database software will be provided by Dendrite Clinical Systems.
    • One of the key priorities of the HANA project is to assess the whole pathway for patients diagnosed with new primary or recurrent head and neck cancer in England and Wales, helping to improve the quality of clinical services and outcomes for patients.
    • Saving Faces are working closely with the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists (BAHNO) to ensure that HANA focuses on information that is really relevant to real-world patient outcomes.
    • In this effort, Saving Faces has been working with other specialist organisations that work with head and neck cancer patients to develop the clinical reach of the audit. These include representatives from Restorative Dentistry, Dietetics, Speech and Language Therapy and Psychiatry, to name a few.
  • The National Corrective Jaw Treatment Audit: The National Corrective Jaw Treatment Audit is a national clinical audit which collects information about patients undergoing corrective jaw surgery and uses it to measure the quality of patient care.
    • The results will also be used to help surgeons understand more about the best treatment options to improve jaw and teeth relationships, their function and appearance. The fundamental aims of these audits is to improve patient care and whether patients are benefiting from their treatments.
  • N3MA: The National Third Molar Audit (N3MA) is a national clinical audit collecting information about the treatment of wisdom teeth and associated problems to measure the quality of patient care.
    • N3MA investigates:
      • Morbidity associated with third molar pathology
      • Referral patterns
      • Whether patients are offered treatment in accordance with NICE guidelines
      • Other patient benefits from treatment which may be overlooked
      • Whether innovative treatments such as coronectomies are safe in the long-term
    • Results will also be used to help surgeons and health care professionals understand more about the best treatments for third molar problems.
    • BAOMS have commissioned NFORC to organise and lead the audit, working with local surgeons and NHS Digital who are providing IT infrastructure and the N3MA database.
    • Please contact NFORC for more information on N3MA.

The NFORC team consists of experienced clinical researchers, project managers and trial coordinators who provide both research and administrative support to develop a project into a fully funded clinical trial. It is also staffed by statisticians, epidemiologists, methodological, psychologists, health economists and sociologists, all of whom are dedicated to OMFS research. The intellectual leadership for NFORC trials emanates from the BAOMS Research and Clinical Effectiveness Committees.