The Maxillofacial Surgical Department is actively engaged in research and education. The department consists of seven consultant maxillofacial surgeons, supported by two consultant orthodontists and a consultant in restorative dentistry. There are sub-specialities in facial trauma, head and neck cancer, facial deformity and facial skin cancer.  Common general maxillofacial diseases are also treated such as oral soft issue conditions, temporo-mandibular joint disorders and complex tooth conditions. Recently the Da Vinci robot has been employed to treat complex head and neck tumours.

The East Lancashire Maxillofacial Service was established in 1995 as a federated sub-regional service. This has been an innovative development with its inpatient base at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.  Referrals are on a ‘hub and spoke’ arrangement, a system that has been widely admired and replicated in other regions. This has led to improved and effective care with excellent training for junior doctors and trainee dentists.

Members of the department are examiners for the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in the UK and for Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) final exams. There are honorary teaching roles at the Universities of Liverpool and Salford and senior clinical lecturer posts at the Universities of Leeds and Central Lancashire.

Educationally, department consultants have held the roles of President of the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the National Clinical Lead for the NHS scheme ‘Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT)’ for Oral and Maxillofacial surgery in England.  This is a recent programme to improve the clinical quality and efficiency within the NHS. Our consultants have been the Training and Deputy Training Director for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the North West of England. The consultants are members of, and have regularly contributed to national maxillofacial societies and meetings.

Consultants have undertaken regular unpaid charity work visits to India as part of a multidisciplinary team to correct facial deformity including cleft palates.

Clinically there have been many innovations: 

  • The head and neck cancer service was one of the first multi-disciplinary services in the county in conjunction with the Ear, Nose and Throat surgeons and radiation oncologists. Complex surgical procedures are undertaken including: 
    • Free tissue transfer
    • Microvascular techniques
    • Trans-oral robotic resection of tumours (a pioneering technique in the UK).
  • The facial deformity service has developed complex mandibular osteotomies and the department is one of the leading units for the treatment of complex facial deformity in the North West.
  • The facial skin cancer service is multidisciplinary in conjunction with the dermatology and ENT department. This is one of the busiest units in England and a recent external review considered the service to be ‘world class’
  • For facial trauma there are three consultant led trauma lists per day, fully utilising complex imaging and internal fixation devices.
  • The orthodontic and restorative dentistry consultants compliment and work with the above sub-specialities and are important in the comprehensive assessment and treatment of the complex patient.  A full team of trained technician and nurses support the unit.
  • Trans-oral robotic surgery (TORS). ​​​

Maxillofacial Consultants

Clinical Director:                 

  • Mr CJ Johnston

Facial skin cancer:

  • Mr K McAlister
  • Mr C Johnstone
  •  Mr J Rao
  • Miss R Rafiq (ENT surgeon Mr Daudia)

Facial deformity:

  • Mr G Cousin
  • Miss M Morton

Head neck cancer:

  • Mr K McAlister
  • Miss N Ghazali
  • (ENT surgeons Mr P Morar and Mr A Belloso)


The unit has extensively published and presented in Internationally and Nationally peer reviewed journals and International and National orthopaedic and educational meetings. Recently an MD doctorate has been submitted.

Unit roles and awards:

  • Clinical lead GIRFT
  • President of the British Association of Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • President of the odontological section of the Manchester Medical Society
  • Dean’s medal in the Final FDSRCS Edinburgh
  • Committee member Department of Health
  • Commissioning guidelines of oral surgery
  • Oral medicine and oral microbiology
  • Training Programme Director- oral and maxillofacial surgery North West of England.


Access individual Consultant research in web sites below:

  • East Lancashire hospitals NHS Trust@
  • Pubmed
  • Google scholar


Researchgate (main authors):

Mr GCS Cousin      RG 28.37

Mr K McAlister     RG 7.75​​​​​​