The British Fluoridation Society (BFS) is pleased to announce that its first Career Development Fellowship has been awarded to Dr Patrick Quinn, Principal Dental Surgeon for County Kerry, Ireland.
The award is funded by a grant from The Borrow Foundation, a grant making organisation that is committed to the improvement of oral health, primarily in children.
Dr Quinn’s project is called “Improving the Accessibility of Community Water Fluoridation Monitoring Data.” He will conduct the research at the School of Dental Science, Trinity College Dublin and Dublin Dental University Hospital where he is pursuing a clinical doctorate in Dental Public Health.
The project aims to improve the accessibility of Community Water Fluoridation (CWF) monitoring data by exploring the approach taken by other countries with CWF programmes and identifying examples of good practice.
It will also determine the views of key stakeholders such as members of the public, researchers and members of the dental profession through public and patient involvement (PPI) and make recommendations for countries with CWF programmes who wish to improve the accessibility of their monitoring data.
Dr Barry Cockcroft CBE, chair of the British Fluoridation Society, commented: “The work proposed by Dr Quinn will strengthen the academic and practical foundation for water fluoridation and add to the growing monitoring of the safety and efficacy of this worldwide intervention. The Society is pleased to initiate this fellowship, which is generously funded by The Borrow Foundation.”
To date, the approach to making CWF monitoring data accessible in Ireland and six other areas with CWF programmes has been researched and validated by subject experts as background preparatory work.
The views of key stakeholders will be gathered through a patient and public involvement (PPI) process with members of the public, researchers and members of the dental profession. Recommendations for practice will then be made following the compilation of stakeholder perspectives and examples of good practice from around the world.
Commenting on receiving the Fellowship, Dr Quinn said: “I am honoured to have been awarded the first British Fluoridation Society Career Development Fellowship. I have always been interested in community water fluoridation and particularly how we make data accessible to key stakeholders.
“This fellowship will enable me to undertake further research in this area as well as growing my expertise in the wider area of CWF. It is essential that we continue to develop expertise in this area and this fellowship will enable me and hopefully many more in time to become leaders in the promotion and development of this important public health intervention.”
The fellowship and its conclusions are scheduled to be completed in August 2025.
Ray Lowry, secretary of the British Fluoridation Society, adds: “We recognise the need to encourage research and development in water fluoridation as new schemes are introduced, for example in England, following the strengthening of Government support for the issue. As academic and other monitoring matures, Dr Quinn’s work will add significantly to the scrutiny and surveillance portfolio available to universities, public health authorities and policymakers.”
The British Fluoridation Society was founded in 1969 to work for improved dental health in the UK through the introduction of water fluoridation schemes and distribute information about dental health.
It works to promote the improvement of dental health by securing the optimum fluoride content of water supplies (one part per million) in areas where high levels of tooth decay continue to be a public health issue and to promote and co-ordinate medical, dental, educational, and administrative efforts to achieve this.