College Council

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

The Council of the College of General Dentistry is elected by CGDent members and guides the Trustees on the development of the College to serve patients and the dental professions across general dentistry.

Elected dentist members transferred from the FGDP board and will serve the remainder of their current terms of office on the Council. New members have been added to expand representation across the dental team; these are one-year appointments with the posts open to election among the College membership in 2022.

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.

College Council

Abhijit Pal President
Roshni Karia Vice-President South East & South West Thames region
Tashfeen Kholasi Vice-President North East & North West Thames
Louise Belfield Dental Nursing & Orthodontic Therapy Representative
Matthew Collins National Representative
Onkar Dhanoya Yorkshire & Northern region
Jonathan Farmer Trent & East Anglia
Simon-Quentin Jones Wales
Helen Kaney National Representative
Eldo Koshy Overseas Member Representative
Yann Maidment East of Scotland
Ewen McColl South West
Susan Nelson Northern Ireland
Andrew Parashchak North West
Kanwar Ratra West Midlands
Bill Sharpling Dental Technology & Clinical Dental Technology Representative
Sami Stagnell Wessex & Oxford region
John Stanfield Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy Representative
Patricia Thomson West & North Scotland

Abhi Pal 

Abhi Pal FCGDent is the first elected President of the College of General Dentistry, and was the eleventh and final Dean of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK). Dr Pal qualified in 1987 with honours and distinction from Guy’s Hospital, London, and has worked in general dental practice ever since, joining The University Dental and Implant Centre, a mixed NHS and private practice in Edgbaston of which he is Principal, in 1991. Editor of FGDP’s Training Standards in Implant Dentistry, he was elected to represent the West Midlands region on the National Faculty Board in 2014, and re-elected in 2017 and 2020. In 2019 he was Guest Editor of the themed issue of the Primary Dental Journal on dento-legal matters.


Roshni Karia 

Roshni Karia MCGDent qualified from King’s College London in 2010, and works in Surrey as an associate dentist in general dental practice. After developing a special interest in periodontics, she completed an enhanced two-year postgraduate study programme and is now also a clinical tutor in periodontology at King’s. After joining the FGDP in 2012, she was elected as a full member of the board in 2017, later served as Vice Dean, and was re-elected in 2020. Currently a Member of CGDent’s Careers and Training Committee and the College’s representative on Public Health England’s Children’s Oral Health Improvement Board, she was previously Chair of the FGDP Education and Qualifications Committee and Membership Affairs Committee.


Tashfeen Kholasi 

Tashfeen Kholasi MCGDent 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, and a health informatics clinical lead at NHS Digital. With a strong interest in digital health, she is a Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics. 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. Tashfeen was elected to the FGDP’s board in 2020 and is the CGDent’s Vice President of the Membership Affairs and Professional Affairs Committees, and Vice President of the Membership Admissions Panel.


Louise Belfield 

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, and general dental practices. Louise 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. At CGDent, Louise is a Member of the Professional Affairs Committee and of the Membership Admissions Panel.


Matthew Collins 

A general dental practitioner in Batley, Matthew Collins FCGDent has a particular clinical interest in dental rehabilitations for patients with worn and missing teeth, and has undertaken extensive postgraduate training in composite techniques, aesthetic dentistry and dental implantology. He graduated from Leeds University in 1998 and holds both a Master’s degree in Clinical Dentistry from the University of London and the Diploma in Implant Dentistry of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. A member of the Association of Dental Implantology, and Chair of Calderdale and Kirklees Local Dental Committee, he is also a Member of the CGDent’s Regional Funding Panel.


Onkar Dhanoya 

Onkar Dhanoya FCGDent has been Principal Dentist at Honour Health, a mixed NHS-and-private dental group, since 1986, providing treatments including dental implants, facial aesthetics and orthodontics at its three practices across the North East of England. He graduated from Newcastle University in 1985, is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists and a past Vice Dean of the FGDP. Chair of North Tyne LDC, and past President of the BDA’s Northern Counties branch, he has been a clinical teacher at Newcastle Dental Hospital since 1995. He chairs the College’s Professional Affairs Committee, is a Member of the Membership Admissions Panel, and chaired the working group which developed the guidance, Implications of COVID-19 for the safe management of general dental practice.


Jonathan Farmer 

Jonathan Farmer MCGDent represents Trent & East Anglia, and is Chair of the CGDent’s Membership Admissions Panel. Working mainly in general dental practice since 1988, he currently practises in Lincoln, has a special interest in endodontics, and has worked for the salaried dental service. He is a Programme Director for Dental Foundation Training at Health Education England (East Midlands), Dental Practice Advisor for the Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire/North Midlands Area Team, and has previously been a clinical supervisor at Leeds and Sheffield Dental Schools.


Quentin Jones 

Quentin Jones AssocFCGDent chairs the CGDent Careers and Training Committee, having previously served as Vice Chair of FGDP External Affairs. Qualifying from Cardiff in 1986 he took up a research position followed by hospital and community posts, gaining DGDPRCS and MPhil (prosthodontics). In 1993 he became principal of his own practice in Swansea, a VT trainer, lecturer on Cardiff’s postgraduate implant course and editorial board member of an international journal. Elected to BSSPD and EPA, he has taught undergraduate prosthodontics and clinical skills at Cardiff Dental school and has served as Clinical Consultant to Renishaw Plc. Quentin has practised in Europe and the Middle East and is currently Chair of Y Gymdeithas Ddeintyddol – The Dental Society of Wales.


Helen Kaney 

Helen Kaney FCGDent, Head of Dental Services in Scotland for Dental Protection, and a dually qualified dentist and solicitor, was elected to one of two national seats. Helen is Vice-Chair of the CGDent’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 CGDent and 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.


Eldo Koshy 

A prosthodontist and implant dentist in Kerala, India, Eldo Koshy FCGDent was elected to represent the College’s many overseas members, succeeding Pankaj Patel. 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.


Yann Maidment 

Yann Maidment MCGDent qualified from Edinburgh Dental School in 1984, becoming a partner in his Edinburgh-based dental practice – alongside his wife – 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 Acupuncture in Dentistry. He was President of the Royal Odonto-Chirurgical Society of Scotland between 2015 and 2016, the year he was first elected to represent the East of Scotland on the FGDP board. Now a CGDent Council Member, he is the College lead on Research and a Member of the Professional Affairs Committee.


Ewen McColl 

Director of Clinical Dentistry at Plymouth University’s Peninsula Dental School and Co-Editor of Standards in Dentistry, Ewen McColl MCGDent currently represents the South West of England and is a Member of the College’s Careers and Training Committee. After qualifying from the University of Edinburgh in 1993, Ewen worked in maxillofacial surgery posts before spending 17 years as a general dental practitioner in the British Army. With postgraduate diplomas in conscious sedation (King’s College London) and in medical education (University of Dundee), he holds the FDS(Rest. Dent.) of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and is a Fellow of both the Faculty of Dental Trainers (RCS Ed.) and the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.


Susan Nelson 

Susan Nelson MCGDent is lead dentist in private practice in Holywood, County Down, specialising in implant dentistry. Graduating with Honours in 1993 from the University of Edinburgh, where she won the McGregor Gold Medal for the most distinguished dental graduate, she completed Vocational Training in Fife before joining the practice as an associate in 1994. She joined FGDP(UK) in 1998, and later served as Director of the Faculty’s Northern Ireland division and Vice Dean of the Faculty. She is Vice-Chair of the CGDent’s Careers and Training Committee and a Member of the Regional Funding Panel. She is also Deputy Chair of the Northern Ireland branch of the BDA, and will take on the role of Regional Clinical Lead for Portman Healthcare later this year.


Andrew Parashchak 

Andrew Parashchak MCGDent completed a BSc in Biomedical Sciences and an MSc in Immunology and Immunogenetics before studying for his BDS at Peninsula Dental School, from where he graduated in 2012. After working as a general dental practitioner within the NHS, he moved into private practice in 2014, and recently bought his own practice in Rochdale, while working part-time as an associate in Wigan. He completed the FGDP(UK) Diploma in Restorative Dentistry in 2017 with a view to progressing to an MSc. As a Council member for CGDent, he is Vice-Chair of the Membership Affairs Committee.


Kanwar Ratra 

Kanwar Singh Ratra MCGDent, qualified from Liverpool Dental School in 1999 and is Principal Dental Surgeon at Lansdowne House Dental Practice in Bromsgrove and at Bilston Dental Practice, where he enjoys guiding nervous dental patients through their treatment journey. With a strong interest in dental education, he was a clinical lecturer at Birmingham Dental Hospital from 2003 to 2012, and in 2015 was awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education from the University of Birmingham. He joined FGDP(UK) as a full member in 2004, and served as President of the Central Counties Branch of the British Dental Association from 2015 to 2017. He is also a director and founder of an innovative medical devices company, Sentra Medical Limited.


Bill Sharpling 

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 Head of Dental Technology at Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals. He is 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. Bill 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 CGDent’s Careers and Training Committee.


Sami Stagnell 

Specialist oral surgeon, Sami Stagnell MCGDent graduated from King’s College London Dental Institute in 2009 and currently runs a specialist referrals practice in Bournemouth supporting both NHS and private patients. Following specialty training he was awarded one of the first UK posts as a Fellow in Clinical Leadership and Management with Health Education England. In 2015 he was awarded a merit in his MSc in Aesthetic Dentistry (KCL) and in 2018 he achieved an MSc in Skin Ageing and Aesthetic Medicine (University of Manchester). He is completing an MSc in implantology with the University of Madrid. He is an active member of many societies and represents the profession with the BDA, CGDent and the Royal Society of Medicine. Sami is Chair of CGDent’s Membership Affairs Committee.


John Stanfield 

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, and is now a Member of CGDent’s Membership Affairs Committee. 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 experience of hospital, NHS, teaching establishments and private practice.


Patricia Thomson 

Patricia Thomson AssocFCGDent graduated from Glasgow Dental School in 1983 and has worked in general 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, and presented teaching sessions on orthodontics to vocational trainees, as well as delivering postgraduate lectures at RCPS Glasgow. Joining the board of FGDP in 2016, she served on various committees, and is presently Chair of the Regional Funding Panel of CGDent. Patricia has also served as President of BDA West of Scotland Branch, and is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists.

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