New life for pioneering dentist
Professor Anthony Blinkhorn OBE is retiring from the University of Manchester and as director of the National Fluoride Information Centre (NFIC).
He is retiring from NFIC, England’s only independent information centre for fluorides and fluoridation, after three years for a new life in Australia as chair of Population Oral Health at Sydney University. Professor Robin Davies will take over as director of NFIC.
Established to provide information to the general public and health professionals on all aspects of fluoride use and delivery, NFIC was created in 2004 following changes to the water bill which saw the Government give Strategic Health Authorities, in consultation with their local communities, the power to decide whether to implement new fluoridation schemes locally.
Professor Blinkhorn said: ‘NFIC is now a well respected source of fluoride information for both parents and health professionals and I am delighted to have helped develop this.
‘We continually build and update our library of information and Professor Davies will be sharing his expertise by adding to this, whilst I look forward to continuing my involvement with NFIC in an advisory capacity.
‘The public health debates surrounding fluorides and water fluoridation look set to continue in the months and years ahead and with an increased demand for information. It is vital people can be assured they are accessing independent and trustworthy sources of information on what are often seen as confusing and contentious subjects.’
Professor Blinkhorn will also leave the University of Manchester School of Dentistry, where he has been a key figure in paediatric dentistry and dental public health since 1976.
He helped pioneer the UK’s first outreach teaching programme at the Manchester Dental School. The programme, in which students train alongside qualified dentists and simultaneously increase community dental provision, is now an essential part of dental undergraduate training in the UK.
Professor Iain Mackie of the University of Manchester School of Dentistry said: ‘Anthony Blinkhorn has been an international leading figure in both paediatric dentistry and dental public health. This is evidenced by him being enticed away from Manchester to Australia but turning down many international chairs in the process. He is unique and irreplaceable and will be sorely missed.’