The College of General Dentistry is delighted to announce that Prof Nairn Wilson CBE is to be recognised for his contribution in the establishment of the College of General Dentistry as Honorary Founding President.

The College of General Dentistry is making plans for its future effective governance and representation with the announcement that the roles of Chair of Trustees and Presidency of an elected Council will be separate when the College formally launches in July 2021.

Prof Wilson steps down as Chair of the Trustee Board with immediate effect, his position taken in an interim capacity by Janet Clarke MBE, who has been a Trustee since 2019. The substantive role of Chair of Trustees will be recruited openly in the coming weeks.

In recognition of his contribution to the establishment of the new College, the CGDent Trustees and the FGDP(UK) Board have agreed that Professor Wilson will be granted the title of Honorary Founding President. After a rich career in leadership across dental organisations, Prof Wilson has led the Trustee Board of the College from its initiation in 2017. He takes on this new role in the months leading to the launch in July, to champion the vision and goals of the College, and to lead fundraising in support of its mission at this critical time in its development.

The launch is intended to tie in with the transfer of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) on 1st July 2021, its elected Board forming the core of the planned College Council. Ian Mills, current Dean of FGDP(UK) and a Trustee of the College, demits office immediately before the transfer, and his successor as Faculty Dean is expected to take up the role as the first elected President of the College.

The President will thereafter be elected by the Council (continuing from the current Faculty Board), the Council itself being elected from amongst the College’s membership on a regional basis. The Council will provide the College’s leadership in all professional affairs in dentistry, and guide Trustees accordingly.

Nairn Wilson said:
I am hugely honoured and delighted to have been appointed Honorary Founding President of the College of General Dentistry.
“The long-overdue formation of the College, which will provide new leadership and career pathways, will bring together and develop the skills and expertise of all members of the dental team in the interests of patients. In achieving this goal, the College will allow dental healthcare professionals, individually and collectively, to realise their considerable potential to enhance general health and wellbeing.
“I commit myself, with renewed resolve, to doing everything possible to provide solid, enduring foundations for the intended Royal College.
“In emerging from unprecedented, challenging times, the College intensifies and strengthens the light at the end of the tunnel and beyond.”

Janet Clarke said:
“The appointment of our Founding President marks another confident step toward the formal launch of the College of General Dentistry, and I can think of no more appropriate candidate for the role than Nairn Wilson. We are delighted that he has accepted our invitation to lead the redoubling of our efforts in establishing the College; building support amongst our future partners and stakeholders, and focusing our development campaign.

“I look forward to working with my fellow Trustees to prepare ourselves for an historic

year ahead, with the formal launch of the College and the welcoming of the members
that will be at the heart of our professional community”.

Ian Mills said:
“The College of General Dentistry was conceived though the determination of the Board of FGDP(UK) to establish an independent College, and I am delighted that Nairn Wilson is recognised for his tireless work with us to bring that to fruition. We are now within touching distance of the fulfilment of this great enterprise. There is great promise for the future in our proud profession, building on the twenty eight years of progress achieved by the Faculty”.

Prof Nairn Wilson CBE

Nairn Wilson is a Past President of the British Dental Association and Emeritus Professor of Dentistry at King’s College London, where he was Professor of Restorative Dentistry, Dean and Head of the College’s Dental Institute (2001-12), and Deputy Vice Principal (Health) (2009-12).

His other positions have included Editor of the Journal of Dentistry (1986-2000), Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (1995-98), President of the General Dental Council (1999-2003), co-chair of the Forum of European Heads and Deans of Dental Schools (2007-12), and Editor of FGDP(UK)’s Primary Dental Journal (2012-2017).

Nairn’s interests include healthcare regulation, international trends in dental education, and future developments in the clinical practice of dentistry. He continues to contribute to the dental literature, while serving as patron or trustee of various dental charities. He was appointed CBE in 2004 for services to dentistry and healthcare regulation.

Janet Clarke MBE

Janet Clarke recently stepped down as Deputy Chief Dental Officer for England. Her career has included chairing the BDA’s Central Committee for Community and Public Health Dentistry and leading negotiations to introduce the new contract for salaried primary care dentists, establishing a new pathway for career progression.

In 2010 Janet was awarded the MBE for services to dentistry having twelve months previously been appointed by the Government to work alongside Professor Jimmy Steele in his Independent Review of NHS Dentistry. Previously, she worked as a clinical dental officer in a range of Midland health authorities before becoming Associate Director for Dental Services in 1991.

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