The Council of the College of General Dentistry convened for the first time on Friday, 23 July 2021, welcoming new members to expand representation across the dental team.

The Council is elected by the membership, and continues its work from the Board of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK), which is in the process of transferring to the College. Chaired by the President of the College, Abhi Pal FCGDent, the Council is the senior professional forum of the College and guides College Trustees on its development to serve patients and the dental professions across general dentistry. Dr Pal is supported by the recently-elected Vice Presidents, Roshni Karia MCGDent and Tashfeen Kholasi MCGDent.

Members of Council attending the first meeting in person; a number attended by videoconference in light of COVID-19 related circumstances

The College Council welcomes the following new members, initially by appointment, to support the College in expanding its reach across the dental team.

John Stanfield has over 40 years of experience as a Dental Hygienist, and works in private dental practice in Cheshire; he is also currently a clinical lead for Test & Trace. He was involved in FGDP(UK) as editor of Team in Practice and as the vice chair of the DCP Committee. He is undertaking a PhD on the subject of “The use of Hybrid Social Learning Networks in Dentistry in the UK”, has lectured nationally and published articles in many journals as well as being a judge for the FMC Oral Health Awards for a number of years. John has studied learning and teaching, having a special interest in the use of technology and media. He is a trustee for the dental charity Maasai Molar, enabling the education of children of the Maasai region towards better dental health. Originally qualifying in the Army in 1980, he has worked in Cyprus, Saudi Arabia and the UK, having experience of hospital, NHS, teaching establishments and private practice.

Louise Belfield previously served as a College Ambassador. She 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, and general dental practices across the region. Continuing to practice as a locum dental nurse, Louise gained a BSc (Hons) in Human Biosciences at the University of Plymouth, graduating in 2004, and went on to achieve a doctorate in immunology (2013), and a post-graduate certificate in clinical education (2014). She was awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2019 in recognition of her continued contributions to dental education.

Bill Sharpling 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 the Head of Dental Technology at Guy’s, Kings College and St Thomas’ Hospitals. He is the External Examiner for the BSc(Hons) Clinical Dental Technology programme at the University of Central Lancashire. Bill qualified in 1986 and spent the next 10 years working as a Dental Technician in the UK and abroad where he gained advanced qualifications in fixed and removable prosthodontics. Prior to his appointment as Head of Dental Technology, Bill worked in commercial dental laboratories, the Armed Forces and as the Chief Instructor in Conservative Dental Technology at Guy’s Hospital Dental School. In 1999 Bill completed a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) with a distinction.

These Council appointments are for a one-year, fixed term, with the posts open to election amongst the College membership in 2022.

The rest of the membership of the Council for 2021/22 comprises:

Abhi Pal FCGDent (President)
Roshni Karia MCGDent (Vice President, South East & South West Thames Region)
Tashfeen Kholasi (Vice President, North East & North West Thames Region)
Onkar Dhanoya (Yorkshire & Northern Region)
Andrew Parashchak (North West)
Patricia Thomson (West & North Scotland Region)
Eldo Koshy (Overseas Member Representative)
Susan Nelson (Northern Ireland Region)
Quentin Jones (Wales Region)
Jonathan Farmer (Trent & East Anglia Region)
Sami Stagnell (Wessex & Oxford Region)
Helen Kaney (National Representative)
Matthew Collins (National Representative)
Kanwar Ratra (West Midlands Region)
Ewen McColl (South West Region)
Yann Maidment (East of Scotland)

Council members serve a three year term, open to re-election. The President is a three year, fixed-term appointment, and Vice Presidents serve a one year appointment, renewable once.