The recently-elected leader of the UK’s dentists, Dr Martin Fallowfield, has pledged that the British Dental Association (BDA) will champion high-quality care, promote professional values and speak out forcefully on behalf of the profession.
Speaking in his first interview since being elected Chair of the BDA’s Principal Executive Committee (PEC) Dr Fallowfield asserts his belief in the importance of all dentists being able to provide patient care in an environment where they are able to put patients’ interests first, free of concern about whether the system that is funding the care provides adequate resources for the treatment that is needed.
Dr Fallowfield also argues that the significant contribution non-NHS dentistry makes to improving oral health in the UK deserves greater recognition, stressing the evolving aspirations and values of patients as a driving force for the different expectations many patients have of their dental care today.
Putting patients first, Dr Fallowfield contends, is the behaviour that entitles dentistry to consider itself a profession. It is this belief in values and standards, he says, that lifts dentists above the level of artisans to their professional status.
The interview also sees Dr Fallowfield discuss a range of other issues including the importance of the BDA’s trade union function, the findings of the recent Office of Fair Trading report into the UK dental market and the long-term nature of the challenge facing the PEC. The interview is available to read or listen to here.
The Principal Executive Committee assumed responsibility for the governance of the BDA on 1 July 2012. Its inaugural meeting was held on 11 July. The meeting saw the PEC agree a set of core values and pledge to develop a work plan against which it will be held accountable by January 2013.