Community dentist assumes presidency of BDA

Dr Janet Clarke, clinical director of Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust Community Dental Service (CDS) and Honorary Clinical Lecturer at Birmingham Dental School, will become the 125th president of the British Dental Association (BDA) on Thursday 19 May.

She will be presented with her chain of office and make her inaugural speech as BDA president at the opening of the 2011 British Dental Conference and Exhibition at Manchester Central Convention Complex, Manchester (19-21 May).

Dr Clarke was awarded her Bachelor of Dental Surgery Degree by the School of Dentistry, University of Birmingham, in 1981, and a Master of Community Dental Health in 1989.

After working as a clinical dental officer in a number of different health authorities (Dudley, Bartley Green, Birmingham, Central Birmingham and Solihull) over a nine-year period, she took up her current post in 2002.

As clinical director at Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust CDS, Dr Clarke manages an NHS dental budget of more than £6 million. She oversees the provision of the community dental service for vulnerable patients in Birmingham, Sandwell, Dudley and Walsall.

This includes the provision of mobile dental units in areas of social deprivation, complex dental treatment on a domically basis, and intravenous sedation services for severally anxious patients.
Dr Clarke has been an honorary senior lecturer in dental public health at the University of Birmingham for more than 20 years.

She was awarded a Fellowship of Dental Surgery by the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2003.
Dr Clarke has significant experience of representing the dental profession.

Locally, she has served as chair of the BDA’s West Midlands Division of the CDS Group, and as president of the BDA’s Central Counties Branch. On the national stage, she chaired the BDA’s Central Committee for Community and Public Health Dentistry (the forerunner of the current Salaried Dentists Committee) and successfully led the negotiations to introduce a new contract for salaried primary care dentists in 2007.

This was regarded as a pivotal moment in the development of salaried services, modernising the profession, and establishing a new pathway for career progression.

She has also served as a member of the BDA’s executive board, and representative body.
Her contribution to dentistry is widely recognised. She was awarded an MBE in 2010 for services to dentistry, and two years earlier she was appointed by the secretary of state to work alongside Professor Jimmy Steele in his independent review of NHS Dentistry.
Dr Clarke, who will serve as the BDA’s president for a year, said: ‘It is a wonderful honour to become president of the BDA and I look forward to serving my fellow professionals in this capacity.

‘I see this an as an opportunity to promote what’s good about dentistry, and the determination of a highly skilled workforce to provide the best care we can for our patients whatever the challenges we face in the year ahead.
‘I look forward to being an ambassador for dentists throughout the UK, during my term of office.’
Dr Clarke is married with two children. Away from dentistry, Dr Clarke enjoys what she jokingly describes as the ‘shallow pursuits of shopping and holidays’.

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