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Northern Ireland Community Dentists Committee

Northern Ireland Community Dentists Committee (NICDC) (formerly NISDC) is the official representative body for Community and salaried Dentists in Northern Ireland (with some exclusions as per the constitution). It negotiates on pay and conditions of service for dentists who are in the Community and salaried dental services.

The Committee is recognised by the Government as having the status and authority to negotiate on behalf of the dental profession on matters of terms and conditions of service and remuneration in the Community and salaried dental services.​

What do NICDC do?

  • Share and represent the views of Community dentists
  • At as a channel of communication between the BDA and Community dentists
  • Lobby stakeholders on behalf of Community Dentists
  • Negotiate on behalf of the Community Dental Service (CDS)

What issues do NICDC work on?

  • CDS Terms and Conditions issues
  • CDS Workforce issues
  • Improving oral health core CDS patient groups and wider society

Getting invovled: what can you do?

Meet the NICDC committee members

The NICDC are elected representatives and hold their positions for a three-year period. They are there to represent the views of community and salaried dental practitioners.


The current NICDC will sit from 2018 - 2020 and 2021, as agreed by the BDA PEC.


By-elections can be held at any time to replace members who step down, please get in touch with the BDA elections team elections@bda.org if you are interested in standing to find out more information.


There are currently:


  • Five directly elected voting members representing each of the Health and Social Care Trusts (voting)

  • One directly elected voting member representing the Clinical Directors (voting)         

  • One committee cross representative (non-voting)

  • One BDA Accredited Representative (non-voting)

  • The Chair of Northern Ireland Council (non-voting)

  • The Chair and Vice Chair of PEC (non-voting)

  • One BMA cross represenative (non-voting) vacant

Ann McAreavey-Chair.jpg

Ann McAreavey (Chair)              
Southern Health and Social Care Trust

Ann is elected on behalf of Community and Salaried Dentists in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. Ann qualified as a Dentist from Dundee University in 1999, working in Carnoustie before coming home to Northern Ireland to work in General Practice in Co. Armagh for 10 years. She began working with in the SHSCT Community Dental Service in 2011 as a Dental Officer before progressing to the post of Senior Dental Officer in 2021.

Ann has a particular interest in Special Care dentistry and through the NI CDC, hopes to be able to influence improvements in the provision of services across NI for some of our most vulnerable patients.

Having worked throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Ann has a deep appreciation of the challenges experienced across all areas of dental care over the last 2 years and is a passionate advocate for learning lessons to ensure we build services back better. She is looking forward to engaging with staff employed in Community Dentistry to ensure their voice is heard as part of discussions on the future delivery of services.

John Finnerty (Vice Chair)             
Pan-NI Clinical Director
John is elected on behalf of the NI Clinical Directors. Qualified from QUB 1984. John worked for several years in General Dental Practice in West Belfast and Omagh. He moved to Community Dental Service in Down & Lisburn in 1987. John has maintained locum sessions in General Dental Practice, Hospital Dental Practice and the Prison Dental Service. He attained a Master Medical Science in Restorative Dentistry in 1992.

John was appointed Clinical Director at Causeway H&SCT Community Dental Services in 1995. He established the Children's Exodontia service in 2001 and the Special Needs GA/IV Service in Causeway Hospital April 2004. John was appointed to Deputy Clinical Director Post in the Northern H&SC Trust in 2008 and Clinical Director in 2017. During 2008/2010 he was seconded to DHSSPS to complete the CDS review and provided advice on the establishment of the Salaried Primary Dental service. John was instrumental in the formulation of the business case to establish a consultant led regional network for Special Care Dentistry. He was appointed to the Specialist List in Special Care Dentistry in 2010.

John was responsible for the establishment of the Salaried Dental Service in Mid Ulster Hospital and helped in developing a Salaried Dental Model in Cushendall. He has been a member of the BDA since 1982 and has previously represented N. Ireland on the Salaried Services Committee's and Central Dental Services BDA Committee, the BDA Young Dentists Committee and NIDPC.

Sinead Preston
Northern Health and Social Care Trust

Sinead is a Senior Dental Officer at the Northern Health and Social Care Trust 2013 to present, undertaking care for patients with complex needs under GA and IV sedation. Sinead qualified at Queen's Belfast in 1992. She obtained a Msc in Dental Public Health from Manchester University in 2000. After returning to Belfast she obtained her diploma in Post-Graduate Clinical Education, QUB 2014.

She has worked as a Dental Officer in Manchester and as a Senior Dental Officer in North Wales. She has undertaken clinical attachments in paediatrics at Manchester Dental Hospital, Sedation Liverpool and Restorative QUB. She has been involved in undergraduate teaching and has held Honorary Lecturer posts with Manchester, Cardiff and QUB. Her main other interest is behaviour management and sedation. In 2018/19 she instigated an IV sedation service in the Northern Trust for special needs patients.

Meabh McKeown     
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust 

Meabh is elected on behalf of the community and salaried dentists in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. Meabh studied at the University of Dundee before moving to Edinburgh to complete longitudinal dental foundation training - a 2 year training course involving rotations through general dental practice, public dental service, paediatric dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery.

 After 7 years in Scotland, Meabh moved back to NI and completed a dental core training post in oral and maxillofacial surgery in Altnagelvin hospital before moving back to Belfast to complete a dental core training post in special care and restorative dentistry. This resulted in her taking up her community dental officer position and she has been working for the Belfast Trust for the past 3 years. 


Kathryn Boyce           
Western Health and Social Care Trust

Kathryn is elected on behalf of community and salaried dentists in the Western Health and Social Care Trust. Kathryn graduated from QUB in 2011. After completing VT, she worked in general practice before joining the CDS as a dental officer in the Western Trust at the end of 2018. Kathryn currently splits her time between the Great James Street and Strabane Health Centre clinics and really enjoys the challenges and rewards of working in the community dental service.

In 2014 she passed the membership of the Joint Dental Faculties exams thorough the Royal College of Surgeons (England) and in 2021 she successfully sat the Diploma in Special Care Dentistry exams again through the RCS. Kathryn sits on the NI Joint Negotiating Forum (NIJNF).


Kelly Kerr                   
South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust

Kelly is elected on behalf of community and salaried dentists in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust. Kelly qualified from Queens University Belfast in 2015. She spent a year completing my Vocational Training in Belfast before completing 3 Dental Core Training years across OMFS/Oral Medicine/Oral Surgery and Orthodontics. During these years Kelly completed her MFDS through the Royal College of Surgeons in Glasgow and a Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Education through Queens University, Belfast.

Kelly joined the CDS full-time as a dental officer in September 2019 and has been enjoying this varied field of dentistry. She is looking forward to representing the views of my colleagues during the next triennium on the BDA NICDC committee. Kelly also sits on the NIDPC as cross rep for NICDC.


To get in touch with your local representative please contact Norther Ireland office northernIrelandoffice@bda.org.  


​To get in touch with your local representative please contact Northern Ireland office northernIrelandoffice@bda.org.

Got any feedback?

We are always keen to hear your views, help with any issues you might have, or if you have comments on how we can support you as a community dentist please contact Northern Ireland office northernIrelandoffice@bda.org