CGDent reveals College Vice-Presidents and dental team representatives, 2022-23

Tashfeen Kholasi and Patricia Thomson have been elected as the College of General Dentistry’s Vice-Presidents for 2022-23, and Louise Belfield, John Stanfield, Bill Sharpling and Sarah Hill have been re-appointed to their roles providing representation of the wider dental team on the College Council.

Patricia Thomson FCGDent, Council representative for the West and North of Scotland, graduated from Glasgow Dental School in 1983 and has worked in general dental practice ever since. She became a principal in 1985, sold her practice in 2017, and now works as a part-time associate. She has provided mixed NHS and private care and has an interest in orthodontics. She has tutored colleagues for entry exams for the Royal Colleges, presented teaching sessions on orthodontics to vocational trainees, and delivers postgraduate lectures at RCPS Glasgow. She served on the National Board of the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) from 2016-21, and is Chair of the College of General Dentistry’s Regional Funding Panel. She is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists and a Past President of the West of Scotland branch of the British Dental Association.

Tashfeen Kholasi FCGDent, Council representative for the North East and North West Thames region, was re-elected after serving as one of the College’s inaugural Vice-Presidents in 2021-22. She is an associate dentist and Chief Clinical Information Officer in general dental practice, as well as a Clinical Tutor in Special Care and Sedation at King’s College London, from where she qualified. With a strong interest in digital health, she is a Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics, and a health informatics clinical lead at NHS Digital. She has a Diploma in Conscious Sedation and a Master’s in Legal Aspects of Medical Practice, and is currently completing a Master’s in Healthcare Leadership and Commissioning. She was elected to the FGDP’s board in 2020 and serves on the College’s Membership Affairs Committee, Professional Affairs Committee and Membership Admissions Panel.

The College of General Dentistry is the independent professional body into which the FGDP transferred last year. The UK’s only medical college run by and for oral health professionals, it is unique in welcoming all dental and oral health professionals with relevant postgraduate qualifications into full membership. Its Vice-Presidents support its President in the delivery of the strategy and policy agreed by the College Council, from which they are elected.

Photo caption:
Top row (l-r): Tashfeen Kholasi, Patricia Thomson, Louise Belfield
Bottom row (l-r): Bill Sharpling, John Stanfield, Sarah Hill

Roshni Karia MCGDent stood down as a Vice-President after completing the maximum two years’ service in the role, having previously been Vice-Dean of the FGDP in 2019-20. During her tenure, she has been instrumental in the development of the College’s soon-to-be-launched Certified Membership scheme, and has been appointed Chair of the College’s Professional Affairs Committee for 2022-23.

Louise Belfield, John Stanfield and Bill Sharpling have been re-appointed to the College Council for a further year as the respective voting representatives of dental nursing & orthodontic therapy, dental hygiene & therapy, and dental technology & clinical dental technology. It is intended that these positions will become elected in 2023 following the formation of professional faculties within the College. Sarah Hill has also been re-appointed to provide additional non-voting representation of dental professionals other than dentists.

Louise Belfield AssocFCGDent is a dental nurse, research scientist, lecturer, Health Education England Dental Clinical Fellow, and National Examination Board for Dental Nurses Trustee. Louise trained as a dental nurse in Devon, qualifying in 2001. She has worked across a range of dental specialties at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust including community, special care, and emergency dentistry, as well as in general dental practice. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Human Biosciences, a doctorate in immunology, and a postgraduate certificate in clinical education. She was awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2019 in recognition of her continued contributions to dental education. She is a member of the College’s Professional Affairs Committee and Membership Admissions Panel.

Bill Sharpling FCGDent is Associate Dean (CPD) and Director of the London Dental Education Centre (LonDEC) at the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, King’s College London. Previously, he was Head of Dental Technology at Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals. He is also the External Examiner for the BSc(Hons) Clinical Dental Technology programme at the University of Central Lancashire. After qualifying in 1986, Bill spent the next 10 years working as a Dental Technician, gaining advanced qualifications in fixed and removable prosthodontics. He has worked in commercial dental laboratories, the Armed Forces and as the Chief Instructor in Conservative Dental Technology at Guy’s Hospital Dental School. He is a member of the College’s Careers and Training Committee.

John Stanfield AssocFCGDent has over 40 years’ experience as a dental hygienist, and works in private dental practice in Cheshire. He was Editor of the FGDP’s Team in Practice journal and Vice-Chair of its DCP Committee, and now serves on the College’s Membership Affairs Committee. Originally qualifying in the Army in 1980, he has experience of hospital, NHS, teaching establishments and private practice. He has studied learning and teaching, with a special interest in the use of technology and media, was a clinical lead for NHS Test & Trace, and is a trustee for the dental charity Maasai Molar, enabling the education of children of the Maasai region towards better dental health.

Sarah Hill AssocFCGDent qualified as a dental hygienist from the University of Bristol with distinction in 2012, and holds a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Southampton and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Education from the University of Plymouth. Working as a hygienist in a mixed orthodontic practice in Halesowen, she has previously delivered presentations for TePe, been a sales representative for GlaxoSmithKline, and a lecturer in Community-Based Dentistry at Peninsula Dental School. An assessor for the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and past Chair of the South West and South Wales group of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, she was an Affiliate Member of FGDP from 2013-21, and the DCP representative on both its West Midlands and national boards.

Abhi Pal FCGDent, President of the College, said: “On behalf of our members, I congratulate Patricia on her election as Vice-President, Tashfeen on her re-election for a second term, and Louise, Bill, John and Sarah on their re-appointment as dental team representatives. I look forward to drawing on their vast and varied experience, knowledge and expertise as the College continues to fulfil its historic mission to build a professional body for all dental professionals. 

“I would also like to thank Roshni for her service as Vice-President, and look forward to continuing to work with her as we launch Certified Membership and in her new role overseeing our professional affairs activity.”

College of General Dentistry launches Professional Framework for dental careers

The College of General Dentistry (CGDent) has launched its much-anticipated Professional Framework, which describes the expected level of a dental practitioner’s capabilities at each stage of their careers.

Aimed at providing recognition of professional development and promoting job satisfaction and workforce retention, Career Pathways in Dentistry: Professional Framework sets out the knowledge, skills and other attributes which define each of five career stages – safe, capable, experienced, enhanced and accomplished – for each role in the primary dental care team, and for each of five domains within each stage – clinical and technical, professionalism, reflection, development, and agency.

The framework has been mapped out by four working groups – representing dentists, dental hygienists & therapists, dental nurses & orthodontic therapists, and dental & clinical dental technicians – working together through a programme board and reference group.

CGDent is the independent professional body into which the Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP) transferred last year. The UK’s only medical college run by and for oral health professionals, it is unique in welcoming all dental and oral health professionals with relevant postgraduate qualifications into full membership.

The creation of career pathways for general dental practice was a key founding purpose of the College, and the Professional Framework provides the intellectual foundation of its Career Pathways in Dentistry programme, which is supported by Colgate.

The College is also developing a Certified Membership scheme, which will provide dental professionals with the tools to guide their individual postgraduate development journey. This will present the opportunity to embark on a pathway that fits in with personal learning and training goals using a flexible, modular approach supported by a facilitated, reflective personal development plan. It will also provide a structure through which those already established in their careers can further develop their career aspirations and/or mentor less experienced colleagues. This unique proposition, which will be for all members of the dental team, will enable dental professionals to demonstrate that they have met the capabilities for each career stage as defined in the Professional Framework. Progressing along the scheme will be a journey of professional development, rather than an end-point examination, and one in which the individual will be supported.

Dr Abhi Pal, President of the College, and Professor Avijit Banerjee, Chair of the College’s Career Pathways Programme Board, said: “Those who carve out a career in the primary dental care sector have been almost unique within healthcare professions in not having defined career structures to support their professional development, despite the presence of multiple training opportunities.

“The CGDent Professional Framework adopts an innovative approach which encourages flexibility for dental professionals to meet their practice and career aspirations, whilst recognising milestones along their often varied professional journeys, by providing a clear and coherent supporting structure.

“It is a product made for dental professionals and by dental professionals, and the College owes its thanks to the many dentists, hygienists, therapists, nurses and technicians who have contributed to it, as well as to Colgate for their generous support that has enabled it to be completed.”

Career Pathways in Dentistry: Professional Framework is available for all dental professionals to download free of charge at https://cgdent.uk/career-pathways/

The College is inviting feedback on the Professional Framework in order to refine it and make it as robust as possible, and encourages dental professionals to explore it, test it out, and consider how they might use it to support their own development as well as that of colleagues. Feedback should be submitted online at cgdent.uk/professional-framework-feedback

College of General Dentistry endorses BADN’s Menopause Policy

The College of General Dentistry (CGDent) has endorsed the BADN’s recently launched Menopause Policy.

In the UK, 99% of dental nurses, 96% of orthodontic therapists, 94% of dental hygienists,  92% of dental therapists, 52% of dentists and 27% of dental technicians are female – 78% of the regulated dental profession as a whole – and the policy outlines the challenges faced by menopausal women in the workplace and suggests ways in which employers can support menopausal employees. 

The Association is asking dental practices, laboratories and clinics to adopt the policy and implement it in their workplace, and is asking dental organisations to support it by encouraging its widespread adoption.

The College of General Dentistry, membership of which is open to all dental and oral health professionals, is the first organisation representing dentists to do so. The College is the independent professional body into which the Faculty of General Dental Practice transferred last year, and is the UK’s only medical college run by and for oral health professionals.

Abhi Pal, President of the College of General Dentistry, said: “The BADN’s Menopause Policy is an important, practical and succinct tool which helps dental professionals to better understand the menopause, to appreciate relevant employment law, and to implement a menopause policy in their practice. Making appropriate adjustments for staff affected by the menopause is both a moral duty enabling committed and experienced colleagues to remain in valuable employment, and a legal duty not to discriminate on the grounds of gender, age or disability. Supportive dental practices and understanding employers will also find they benefit in return from improved staff retention and reduced sickness absence. On behalf of the College, I congratulate BADN on its publication, and am pleased to endorse it.”

The BADN’s Menopause Policy is also supported by the British Society of Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT), the British Association of Dental Therapists (BADT), the British Dental Industry Association (BDIA), the Dental Laboratories Association (DLA), the Dental Technologists’ Association (DTA), the Orthodontic National Group (ONG), and the British Veterinary Nurses’ Association (BVNA).

The advice sheet/policy is available on the BADN website www.badn.org.uk

New members elected to CGDent Council

The College of General Dentistry (CGDent) has announced the results of recent elections to its Council, with two new members elected, and five re-elected.

Subir Banerji FCGDent has been elected to the Central London seat, succeeding Reena Wadia, who served as a member of the National Board of the former Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) from 2016-21.

Dr Banerji works as a general dental practitioner in the same private dental practice in Ealing which he joined after graduating from Newcastle Dental School in 1987. He is particularly interested in restorative, aesthetic, prosthodontic and implant dentistry, and has over 20 years’ experience of teaching undergraduate and postgraduate dentists both nationally and internationally. Also involved in dental research, he has published articles in numerous international peer-reviewed journals, and is the co-author of books including Practical Procedures in the Management of Tooth Wear and Practical Procedures in Aesthetic Dentistry.

He has both an MClinDent (Prosthodontics) and a PhD from King’s College London, where he is the Programme Director of the highly regarded MSc in Aesthetic Dentistry as well as a PhD supervisor. He is an Associate Professor in Prosthodontics at Melbourne Dental School, an advisor to the General Dental Council, on the editorial board of the Academy of Dental Excellence, director of his own postgraduate educational academy, and Head of Continuing Medical Education at i2i Telesolutions Pvt Ltd.

Sagi Shavit MCGDent has been elected to the Yorkshire and Northern seat previously held by Onkar Dhanoya FCGDent – Chair of the College’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Board and its Professional Affairs Committee, and a former Senior Vice Dean of the FGDP – who has stepped down after eight years’ service as an elected representative of the two organisations.

Dr Shavit was born in Israel and was a Captain in the Israel Defense Forces before studying to be a dentist, graduating DMD in Romania in 2009. He soon developed a special interest in endodontics, and after moving to the UK undertook a number of training courses, including microsurgical endodontics, gaining an MSc in Endodontics from the University of Chester in 2015.

Working in a mixed NHS-and-private practice in Darlington, since 2016 he has limited his practice to endodontics, accepting difficult endodontic referrals. He also developed a technique to apply hydraulic cements into perforations and wide canals using his patented Shavit Pellet Former, a push-through mechanism that creates pellets of endodontic cement of predetermined diameters and lengths.

In 2017 he was awarded the MFGDP(UK), and the following year he completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Dental Implantology at the City of London Dental School, where he is now a tutor in endodontics. He is also a visiting lecturer at Tipton Training, runs day courses on endodontics in the North East, and has completed an accredited sedation course and begun providing treatment to anxious patients under intravenous sedation.

Helen Kaney FCGDentEldo Koshy FCGDentPatricia Thomson AssocFCGDentYann Maidment MCGDent and Sami Stagnell AssocFCGDent have been re-elected to represent, respectively, the National, Overseas, West & North Scotland, East of Scotland and Wessex & Oxford seats.

Dr Kaney is Head of Dental Services in Scotland for Dental Protection, a dually qualified dentist and solicitor, and Vice-Chair of the College’s Professional Affairs Committee. As well as practising general dentistry for many years, she has worked as a clinical assistant in restorative dentistry, a Senior Dento-Legal Adviser and a solicitor acting for dentists and doctors. A Fellow of both the College of General Dentistry and of the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians, she holds an MBA and is a founding member of the Dental Law and Ethics Forum.

Dr Koshy is a prosthodontist and implant dentist in Kerala, India. Previously Vice-Principal and Head of the Department of Prosthodontics and Implantology at KMCT Dental College, Kozhikode, he has lectured and delivered training across India, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

Dr Thomson has worked in general dental practice since 1983, became a principal in 1985, sold her practice in 2017, and now works as a part-time associate. She has provided mixed NHS and private care, and has an interest in orthodontics. She has tutored colleagues for entry exams for the Royal Colleges, presented teaching sessions on orthodontics to vocational trainees, and delivers postgraduate lectures at RCPS Glasgow. She served on the FGDP(UK) National Board from 2016-2021, and is currently Chair of the College of General Dentistry’s Regional Funding Panel. She has also served as President of the West of Scotland branch of the BDA, and is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists.

Dr Maidment qualified from Edinburgh in 1984, becoming a partner in his dental practice in the city in 1987, and then associate in 2019. In 2002, he was awarded a DDS for his research comparing the effectiveness of different modes of CPD. He has held research assistant posts at the University of Edinburgh, served on BDA committees for 11 years and lectured on the use of acupuncture in dentistry. He is a past President of the Royal Odonto-Chirurgical Society of Scotland, and has represented the East of Scotland on the FGDP(UK) National Board, and now the College Council, since 2016. He is the College’s Research Lead and a member of its Professional Affairs Committee.

Dr Stagnell graduated in 2009 and is now a specialist oral surgeon, running a referrals practice in Bournemouth supporting both NHS and private patients. In 2015 he was awarded a merit in his MSc in Aesthetic Dentistry at King’s College London, in 2018 he achieved an MSc in Skin Ageing and Aesthetic Medicine at the University of Manchester, and he is completing an MSc in implantology with the University of Madrid. Chair of the College of General Dentistry’s Membership Affairs Committee, he is active in the BDA and Royal Society of Medicine, and was one of Health Education England’s first Clinical Leadership and Management Fellows. He is also an ITI Implant Scholar and a member of the working group which developed the College’s recently-published Mentoring in Implant Dentistry: Good Practice Guidelines.

The College is the independent professional body into which the FGDP transferred last year. The UK’s only medical college run by and for oral health professionals, it is unique in welcoming all dental and oral health professionals with relevant postgraduate qualifications into full membership.

The Council is the voice of the College’s members, overseeing its role as a professional body and guiding its development to fulfil its mission. Elections are held annually on a rotational basis, with the seats representing Wales, Northern Ireland, and the South East & South West Thames and North East & North West Thames regions due for election in 2023, and South West England, Trent & East Anglia, Mersey & the North West and the West Midlands due in 2024.

Elected Council members serve three-year terms, and are then be able to stand for re-election – subject to a lifetime limit of nine years’ service on the Council, including any past service on the FGDP(UK) National Board. Those elected this year will be inaugurated at the next Council meeting, which takes place in Cardiff on Friday 24 June 2022.

Abhi Pal FCGDent, President of the College, said: “Many congratulations to Subir and Sagi on their election to the Council, and to Helen, Eldo, Patricia, Yann and Sami on their re-election. I look forward to drawing on their vast and varied experience, knowledge and expertise as the College continues to fulfil its historic mission.

“I would also like to thank Onkar and Reena for their dedication and service to the College and Faculty, and for their collegiality and advice during my Presidency of the College and Deanship of the Faculty.”

Photo caption:  New CGDent Council Members-Elect Subir Banerji and Sagi Shavit, and re-elected Council Members Helen Kaney, Eldo Koshy, Patricia Thomson, Yann Maidment and Sami Stagnell

CGDent to launch professional framework for general dental professionals

The College of General Dentistry has announced that it will be launching its much-anticipated Professional Framework next month.

The Professional Framework will describe the knowledge, skills and other attributes that primary care dental professionals may aspire to at different stages of their career, and underpins the College’s Career Pathways programme. An initial framework published last year identifies five domains:

  • Clinical and technical: the capability to diagnose, to advise and to treat
  • Professionalism: the conduct and behaviour to engage patient trust and confidence
  • Reflection: awareness of personal impact, abilities and limitations
  • Development: commitment and capability to improve the service to patients
  • Agency: the ability to resolve solutions independently and through others

The College of General Dentistry is the independent professional body into which the Faculty of General Dental Practice transferred last year. The UK’s only medical college run by and for oral health professionals, it is unique in welcoming all dental and oral health professionals with relevant postgraduate qualifications into full membership.

The creation of career pathways for general dental practice was a key founding purpose of the College, which has been developing sets of progressive steps for each dental team role in order to provide purpose and direction for dental careers, to enhance professional standing, and to help retain and nurture a motivated workforce.

These are being mapped out by four working groups representing dentists, dental hygienists & therapists, dental nurses and dental technicians, working together through a programme board chaired by Professor Avijit Banerjee and a reference group chaired by Dr Shamir Mehta.

The Professional Framework will be launched at the inaugural College of General Dentistry Fellows’ Summer Reception, which takes place on Wednesday 15 June at Barber-Surgeons’ Hall in London.

The College’s Career Pathways programme is generously supported by Colgate.

CGDent reveals details of education partnership with the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show

The College of General Dentistry (CGDent) is delighted to be the Education Partner and headline supporter for the Core CPD Theatre at the 2022 British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show.

The Core CPD Theatre will feature 11 sessions over the two-day conference, with experts in their fields sharing their extensive knowledge, and offering practical advice, on an array of essential, GDC-recommended, CPD subjects.

The College itself will be hosting four of these, and we look forward to welcoming members and non-members alike to our seminars later this week:

Medical emergencies
Friday 13 May, 9.15am – 10am
Dr Kaushik Paul, Specialty Dentist, Oral Surgery and Sedation

Leadership in infection prevention and control
Friday 13 May, 10.15am – 11am
Fiona Ellwood BEM FFGDP(UK)(Hon), Subject Expert, Bangor University, All Wales Faculty for Dental Care Professionals

Information sharing in the digital age
Saturday 14 May, 9.15am – 10am
Tashfeen Kholasi, Vice President, College of General Dentistry

Complaints handling: a step-by-step approach to resolving a dental complaint
Saturday 14 May, 3.15pm-4pm
George Wright, Deputy Dental Director, Dental Protection

CGDent has released a short film setting out its vision and purposes, Your College: empowering dental professionals, and representatives will be available throughout the conference at Stand P56 to talk to delegates about the College, the benefits of membership, and to answer any questions.

For further details on the College’s conference seminars, visit https://cgdent.uk/2022/03/03/british-dental-conference-dentistry-show-birmingham-13-14-may-2022/

CGDent President’s Commendations & Fellowship awards 2022

The College of General Dentistry has announced the recipients of its inaugural award of President’s Commendations, and has awarded fellowships to four dental professionals in recognition of their exceptional professional achievements. 

Six individuals have received the President’s Commendation, which recognises significant service to the dental profession through the College or former Faculty of General Dental Practice, at local or national level, by Associate Members, Full Members, Associate Fellows or Fellows of the College, and is conferred by the President on the recommendation of the elected College Council.

Three individuals have been made Honorary Fellows of the College, and one has been awarded Fellowship by Election.

College Fellowship marks out a dental professional’s ongoing commitment to professional development and reflective practice, diligence in upholding the highest standards of clinical care, and distinction across clinical and professional domains. While the main routes to fellowship are Fellowship by Experience and Fellowship by Equivalence, the Council makes annual awards of Fellowship by Election and Honorary Fellowship to a small number of individuals deemed to meet the required standard.

President’s Commendations

Mark Richardson FCGDent is commended in particular for his significant contribution to the Faculty’s education provision. He became an examiner for the MFGDP in 2007 and a Core Group MJDF examiner in 2013, later serving as a Facilitator for the FGDP(UK) Fellowship and as a key member of the Faculty’s Academic Board. He also represented the Wessex and Oxford region on the National Faculty Board from 2016 to 2021, chairing its Education & Qualifications and Finance committees, and serving on the Dean’s Executive Committee and as a Vice Dean from 2018-19.

Since 1989, Group Captain Richardson has served as an RAF dental officer in the UK, Europe, the Far East and Afghanistan. Now Assistant Head of Clinical Operations (Dental) and Chief Dental Officer (RAF and Defence), he was previously the Armed Forces’ Principal Dental Officer for the Wessex Region, and Armed Forces’ Clinical Adviser on Paedodontic Dentistry. In 2018 he was appointed Her Majesty The Queen’s Honorary Dental Surgeon.

Paul Friel MCGDent, a general dental practitioner in East Kilbride,is recognised for his service as Lead Tutor of the FGDP West of Scotland division’s MJDF Study Group, in particular his adaptation in response to coronavirus restrictions of the division’s highly interactive face-to-face study evenings into content-rich, virtual group meetings which have provided excellent support to candidates.

Jonathan Hiscocks MCGDent has been commended for his service to the Faculty in Scotland. A former director of its East of Scotland division, for many years he acted as a mock examiner in the preparation of MJDF examination candidates across the country, and was the Faculty’s representative on NHS Education for Scotland’s Dental Committee. Originally from County Down, he is a partner and dentist in a mixed NHS-and-private dental practice in Edinburgh.

Mutahir Rahman MCGDent has been awarded the President’s Commendation for his service to the Faculty and College in the West Midlands. A member of the FGDP since 2010, he has been active in its West Midlands division since 2012, soon being elected Treasurer. He was Divisional Director from 2016 until the Faculty’s transfer into the College of General Dentistry last year, energetically leading the delivery of many successful educational events and helping to support local colleagues, and is now a Director of CGDent Midlands. He works in the Community Dental Service in Worcestershire, and as Specialty Dentist in the Periodontology Department at Birmingham Dental Hospital, and is also a DCT1 Educational Supervisor in the West Midlands.

Charles Ormond Dip.FFGDP(UK) is honoured for his remarkable commitment to the Faculty, which he joined at its inception in 1992. He served its West of Scotland division for a quarter of a century in a variety of capacities, including Treasurer, Director, committee member, Candidates’ Counsellor for the DGDP and MFGDP, and throughout as a mock examiner for its Study Club. He also represented the region on the National Faculty Board for nine years, chairing its Education, Research and External Affairs committees, serving as Vice Dean from 2009- 2011, and representing it on the Scottish Dental Training Committee and the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme’s Oral Health Assessment Group. In addition, he was a member of the working group which developed the Faculty’s definitive Clinical Examination and Record-Keeping guidance, now published by the College.

Recently retired from dental practice, during his career he also served as President of both the Stirling and Clackmannan and the West of Scotland branches of the BDA, Chair of the Vocational Training Selection Committee and of NHS Education for Scotland’s Dental Education Committee, President of the Royal Odonto-Chirurgical Society of Scotland, and as a Board Member of Dental Protection.

The late John Craig Dip.FFGDP(UK) has been conferred the award posthumously in special recognition of his wide-ranging contributions to advancing the profession, and in particular his instrumental role in laying down the foundations of the FGDP in Scotland. Further information on this award is available at cgdent.uk/news.

Fellowship by Election

Allan Pirie FCGDent has been a dental implant surgeon for 25 years of a 40-year career, and receives referrals for complex implant treatment from all over Scotland to his practice in Glasgow. He was awarded the Diploma in General Dental Practice from the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1995, and an MSc in Implant Dentistry from the University of Warwick in 2006, has served as an examiner for the Diploma of Implant Dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh since 2007, and has tutored at the University of Warwick and the University of Glasgow Dental School. Generous with his time and greatly admired for the assistance that he gives freely, he teaches the restorative side of implant dentistry via local study groups, and mentors local practitioners to introduce implant dentistry into their own practices.

Honorary Fellowship

Maggie Jackson FCGDent(Hon.) has been a trailblazer at the forefront of the Dental Hygiene profession throughout her 60-year career. With unsurpassed skills as a communicator and dental hygienist, her patience, humour and clarity helped highly perio-compromised patients change their habits and gain a chance of keeping their teeth for longer, gaining her a reputation as an inspirational colleague and mentor. For 30 years she worked with specialists who believed in curing periodontal breakdown by empowering patients, without surgery where possible, before opening her own ‘Direct Access’ hygiene practice in Manchester, receiving referrals for the more difficult, non-surgical periodontal treatments from other dental practices. She lectures throughout the UK, and overseas, has had numerous articles published in international journals and books, and is the first and only hygienist to have been awarded an MPhil in Periodontology.

Kathryn Marshall FCGDent(Hon.) is a dental nurse of over 40 years’ experience, and is currently a Dental Educator in quality improvement and Professional Support Tutor at Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW). She co-founded a general and specialist dental practice in Surrey, where she took the opportunity to support student dental nurses though their GDC-registrable qualifications, and was the DCP Tutor for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS) Deanery from 2000 until 2007, and the Training Programme Director for the KSS Dip CDT from 2013 until 2019.

A past examiner for the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses, she was a member of the GDC Fitness to Practice Panel for five years, and the only DCP appointed to the GDC’s e-CPD Advisory Board. She holds a Diploma in Dental Health Education, a Diploma in Leadership and Management, an MSc in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare, and was the External Examiner for the University of Central Lancashire’s Advanced Certificate in Facilitated Learning in Healthcare Practice, and Advanced Certificate in Mentoring and Coaching.

William John Parry FCGDent(Hon.) has been a Consultant Orthodontist at Gwynedd General Hospital in Bangor since 1984, and has particular expertise in managing complex and cleft lip and palate cases. Throughout his tenure, he has devoted considerable time to mentoring and training general dental practitioners to support the delivery of orthodontic care in general dental practice, helping ensure that the highest standards of care are available in remote and rural communities. This support is exemplified by the significant number of GDPs who since 1988 have worked with him as clinical assistants, many achieving accreditation to provide orthodontic care.

He has been Chair of the BDA hospitals group for Wales, President of the BDA hospitals and speciality services UK group, and regional adviser for postgraduate training for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, of which he is a Fellow. He is currently President of Y Gymdeithas Ddeintyddol (The Dental Society of Wales), which he co-founded in 1991. The society offers postgraduate training and development in Welsh, has delivered 30 unbroken years of annual study days as well as evening lectures for its members, and supports student education through its dental dictionary.

CGDent presents posthumous honour for John Craig

The College of General Dentistry has recognised the late John Craig FFGDP(UK) with the posthumous award of a President’s Commendation.

Born in Rutherglen in 1943, John graduated BDS from Glasgow University in 1966 and remained a general dental practitioner until he retired from practice in 2002. He spent over 30 years of his practising life as a partner in his own practice in Falkirk, where he earned a reputation for the highest standards of clinical excellence, strong mentorship of colleagues, and empathy for staff and patients.

Not content with confining his activities and boundless abilities and energies to his surgery, he was extremely active in almost every aspect of general dental practice through his involvement in many dental organisations.

John possessed excellent skills of diplomacy and organisation, and was active in the British Dental Association from the outset of his career, joining as a student in 1965. He later served as Secretary of the Stirling and Clackmannanshire Section and then the West of Scotland Branch, eventually becoming President of the West of Scotland Branch in the 1990s. He chaired the Scottish Annual Conference of Local Dental Committees, and was often a delegate at the LDC National Conference. He was elected to the BDA’s Representative Board in 1991 and was a member of the Executive Board for nine years, including three as Deputy Chairman. He was elected BDA National President in 2005, and to mark this distinguished accolade, the West of Scotland Branch commissioned a bagpipe tune called ‘John Craig of Rutherglen’, composed by Angus Lawrie, former Pipe Major of the Oban Pipe Band.

A Vocational Trainer from 1986, he was chair of the Scottish Dental Vocational Training Committee for seven years, and was a member of numerous postgraduate committees including the General Dental Council’s General Professional Training (GPT) Committee from 1997-98.

He was also involved in a number of dental practice research-based groups, and was a member of the development group for the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) guidelines on management of unerupted and impacted third molars in 1999, and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Oral Health Seminars Group from 1996-99, engaging in postgraduate lectures on practice management. In 2014, he joined forces with Martin Kelleher to write a paper on the damaging effect of the overpreparation and unjustified loss of tooth tissue in the attempt to gain aesthetic improvement of the anterior teeth, and he railed against dentistry being relegated to just another arm of the beauty and cosmetic industry.

Instrumental in laying down the foundations of what is now the College of General Dentistry, in 1992 he chaired the steering group which set up the Faculty of General Dental Practice in Scotland. Achieving the Diploma in General Dental Practice in 1992, he was a member of the FGDP’s national Finance Committee in 1993-1994 and the first Director of the Faculty’s West of Scotland Division from 1993-1996. In 2004, the Faculty awarded him Fellowship by Election, and he was also awarded Fellowship of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for his work in postgraduate education.

His other areas of activity saw him as a Regional Dental Advisor to BUPA Dental Cover, a founder member of Forth Valley Independent Dentists Group, Chair of Glasgow Dental Educational Trust, Trustee of the BDA Benevolent Fund, occasional expert advisor to various legal firms and insurance companies, and a member of the Denplan Advisory Board, MDDUS Dental Advisory Panel, and Edinburgh Postgraduate Dental Institute’s management committee.

His talents were not limited to the dental profession; he was also a sportsman, whose first love was climbing, undertaking expeditions throughout Scotland and in the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Himalayas. He was a skier, golfer, and also an accomplished musician, being a folk singer, guitarist and jazz band banjo player.

He also had a deep interest and knowledge of literature, opera, art, politics, languages, history and astronomy, and was a past President of the Astronomical Society of Glasgow, and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. In 2003, he was made captain of the BDA team which represented the nation’s dentists on BBC2’s University Challenge: The Professionals. Answering most of the questions himself, the team knocked out the General Practitioners in the first round before going out in the quarter finals to the Inland Revenue.

Unfortunately, John suffered a devastating stroke two and a half years ago, and was nursed at home by his wife Irene until he died in September 2021. His funeral drew hundreds, including many colleagues of all ages from all over Scotland, demonstrating the high regard in which John was held by so many generations in the profession.

Dr Abhi Pal, President of the College of General Dentistry, said: “John was a visionary, a pioneer in the establishment of the Faculty of General Dental Practice in the West of Scotland, and a tireless moderniser who endeavoured to keep our profession at the forefront of healthcare. He was also an inspirational colleague, whose principles, high standards and excellence earned the deep respect of all who encountered him, and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to honour his illustrious career.”

Inaugural College Medal awarded to Ian Mills

Ian Mills has become the first ever recipient of the prestigious College Medal, the highest honour bestowed by the College of General Dentistry (CGDent).

Reserved to no more than one recipient per year, the College Medal succeeds the Faculty Medal, which was previously awarded by the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) to just four individuals. It is conferred for exceptional service of the dental profession and its patients in a manner aligned with the values and mission of the College, and both members and non-members are eligible for consideration. 

Dr Mills has received the award in recognition of his considerable contributions to the profession over many years, including through the College and previously the Faculty, in particular his exemplary leadership at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, his pivotal roles in establishing the CGDent and securing the FGDP’s transfer into it last year, and his promotion of greater equality, diversity and inclusion in the dental professions.  

Ian qualified as a dentist from Glasgow University in 1987 and spent the early part of his career working in maxillofacial surgery. In 1994 he moved to Devon, and three years later set up Torrington Dental Practice in North Devon, now an eight-surgery mixed NHS-and-private practice, where he continues to work as a partner.  

He joined the Faculty the same year, and after completing its prestigious Diploma in Implant Dentistry, gaining Fellowship and becoming a Fellowship Assessor, was elected to the National Faculty Board to represent the South West region. He was later appointed Chair of the Examinations Committee and the Faculty’s representative on the Care Quality Commission Dental Reference Group, and served as Junior Vice Dean from 2016-17 and Senior Vice Dean from 2017-18 before being elected FGDP’s tenth Dean, a post he held from 2018-2021.  

During his tenure he represented the profession on a number of committees and working groups, including NHS England’s Advisory Board for Dental Systems Reform, the Joint Committee for Postgraduate Training in Dentistry, the Intercollegiate Advisory Committee on Sedation in Dentistry, the Council of the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network and the Public Health England group overseeing the development the fourth edition of Delivering Better Oral Health. 

In his first annual speech as Dean, he highlighted the inequality of opportunities for career progression within dentistry, noting in particular the disproportionate number of men in leadership roles relative to the gender balance in the profession, and he later instituted the FGDP-CGDent Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Board. 

Early in the pandemic, Ian established a forward planning task group to try to find a way for dental practices to re-open their doors as soon as safely possible. Convening individuals from over 30 organisations to develop suitable guidance, he played a key role in its development, working tirelessly to seek consensus on the many challenges of delivering dental services while minimising the risks of transmission. Completed within the space of just four weeks, Implications of COVID-19 for the safe management of general dental practice was published a week before face-to-face practice resumed in England, giving practices much needed time to prepare when no official re-opening guidance had yet been published. With its in-built responsiveness to varying COVID-19 alert levels, the guidance has remained accessible and relevant over the last 18 months. 

Continuously supporting the profession through the pandemic, he led numerous webinars, joined the NHS England working group on the resilience of mixed dental practices, was part of the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme’s AGP Rapid Review Group, facilitated revised guidance on fallow time and steered the development of the Fallow Time Calculator

Prior to his Deanship, he was an elected member of the British Dental Association’s General Dental Practice Committee, a member of Devon Local Dental Committee, and on the Professional Executive Committee of North Devon Primary Care Trust.  

In addition to his clinical practice, Ian has worked at Peninsula Dental School since it was established and has remained closely involved in the undergraduate programme. Currently Associate Professor in Primary Care Dentistry, he was previously a clinical supervisor, group facilitator and honorary lecturer. Actively involved in promoting and developing research in primary dental care, with particular interests in measuring quality outcomes, person-centred care and environmental sustainability, in 2018 he was awarded a PhD for research into person-centred care in general dental practice.  

He is an Ambassador, Founder, Fellow and former Trustee of the College of General Dentistry, and has been instrumental in the establishment and progression of its Career Pathways programme. A Fellow of the International College of Dentists, the Higher Education Academy and the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, he is a former Trustee of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 

CGDent and BADN call for deferral of mandatory vaccination

Survey suggests a quarter of dental nurses are not fully vaccinated

The College of General Dentistry (CGDent) and British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN) are warning of a potential catastrophe for dental patients if the planned implementation of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for all patient-facing staff in England is not deferred. 

Regulations came into effect earlier this month that will make it unlawful from 1 April 2022 for a CQC-regulated employer to deploy staff who are not fully vaccinated to work face-to-face with patients. The rules, which will apply to NHS and private providers alike, will effectively force dental practices to dismiss staff who have not received their first dose of an approved Coronavirus vaccine by 3 February, and second dose by 31 March, unless they are clinically exempt, under 18, taking part in a Covid vaccine trial or can be redeployed into a non-patient-facing role.

Both the CGDent and BADN are unequivocal in their encouragement of dental professionals to take up the offer of Coronavirus vaccination. However, interim results from the BADN COVID Vaccination Survey, based on the responses of over 1,000 practising dental nurses to date, show that 26% have not yet received two vaccination doses, and 24% will not have been double-vaccinated by the deadline.

Responses were similar for both members and non-members of the association. If the findings are representative of the dental nursing profession as a whole – which makes up half the dental workforce – this would suggest an impending reduction in available dental staff in England of up to 12,000, or 12%, plus any dentists, dental therapists, dental hygienists, clinical dental technicians or orthodontic therapists who may not be double-vaccinated. 

The survey also found that 32% of respondents so far said they do not intend to take up the offer of a ‘booster’ dose, suggesting that staffing problems will only increase if the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ is later amended to require three doses.  

Dr Abhi Pal, President of the College of General Dentistry, and Jacqui Elsden, President of the British Association of Dental Nurses, said: “Dental nurses are a vital part of the team without whom dental care cannot be delivered, and the BADN’s data will only strengthen existing concerns in practices across the country.  

“Tens of millions of dental appointments have been missed during the pandemic, but while welcome additional funding has just been announced by NHS England to help tackle the backlog during February and March, losing up to a quarter of dental nurses from 1 April would lead to a precipitous reduction in care provision, quickly reversing any progress made and leaving millions of dental patients once again unable to get the treatment they need. We urge the government to defer implementation of the vaccination requirement for dental employers in order to avert a calamitous own goal.”