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BDA Elections 2018

Five seats on the BDA’s Principal Executive Committee (our ‘Board’) are currently up for election, with new representatives taking their seats in January 2019.

Five seats on the BDA’s Principal Executive Committee (our ‘Board’) are currently up for election, with new representatives taking their seats in January 2019.


The candidates in this year's ballots are;


Northern

​Paul
Blaylock
​​I am seeking re-election to PEC, on which I have been a member since its formation in 2012, to continue working to develop the BDA to reflect the changing needs of the membership as it leads the profession over the coming years. Prior to PEC membership, I represented the Northern region on the BDA Representative Body since 2004.

My role includes Chair of Pensions Committee and Students Committee, with the latter continuing to be highly active since its successful campaign to protect Dental Foundation Trainee salary. I am a member of Finance Committee and the GDPC Remuneration Committee, which aims to improve NHS pay and conditions for GDPs.

I have experience running 2 busy, primarily NHS practices in South Shields, and I understand the mounting difficulties facing primary care dentistry. I am the Regional Dental Workforce Development Advisor for Health Education England in the North East and North Cumbria, also running the popular GPT Dental Foundation Training scheme. I remain an active member of Gateshead & South Tyneside LDC, and I am assisting the Regional LDCs to establish a PASS scheme to support dentists in difficulty.

Northern Counties Branch Council membership keeps me connected with the views of local members in all fields of dentistry, and informs my decisions on PEC. I was Branch President for 3 years from 2012, during which Branch educational and social activity increased throughout the region.

I am particularly keen to support Young Dentists, who are the future of the profession, in their professional life and personal development. Our Branch has facilitated local Young Dentist Group activity, helping it to become one of the most active in the UK.

My work as an Associate Clinical Lecturer at Newcastle Dental Hospital helps me to understand the needs of academic and hospital dentists. I have contact with a wide range of dentists and Providers, including the Community Dental Service, in my Regional Advisor role.

Recent improvements in BDA communication with members must be built upon, as set out in the latest PEC strategy. I regularly listen to members locally and through craft committees and national Councils. I will seek to improve the dissemination of timely and relevant information to members through all available channels.

If elected I will continue to work to ensure that the BDA represents the profession nationally as our trade union and supports individual members as we shape the future of the profession together.
Kevin Caruana
I qualified from the University of Malta in 2003 and emigrated to the UK in 2005. I started working under the NHS, but then moved to a private arrangement. I have obtained Diplomas in Restorative dentistry and Dental Implants at the FGDP(UK), and an MSc in Clinical Restorative Dentistry at Leeds university.

Since coming over to the UK the NHS contract changed and the GDC fees started creeping up, and litigation has been rising.

The only body I saw that could help was the BDA, but whoever I asked about them they all said it was a waste of time and money.

I joined the BDA anyway and found it to be quite a useful membership - the access to the library services is great, the information and templates very useful, and the advice line has been amazing.
I think it's one of those organisations that you dont't realise the benefit until you join and start using the services. How nice is it to have expert help when needed instead of being stuck in an anxious limbo ?!.

The BDA is the only body out there looking after dentists, for quite a reasonable price!.

I am nominating myself as a member of the Principal Executive Committee to bring things forward, and help head in the right direction. We need to steer the profession, and we need to be represented by a fair, understanding, and powerful body, otherwise we will just be trampled over.

Luckily, I have also seen the BDA make a difference in recent years. Things are moving forward, and I want to be part of that.

​Nigel
Parkash
​Nigel Parkash BDS MJDF RCS (eng)

Originally from the North East I am an enthusiastic and passionate young dentist. I graduated from Newcastle University Dental School in 2013 and have since worked locally providing both NHS and Private dentistry.

Following graduation, I have invested a large amount of time further developing my skills and knowledge to provide a wide range of care to my patients at the highest standard. I have obtained my MJDF, a post-graduate certificate in healthcare learning along with an extensive list of other certificated training related to operative dentistry.

I have been heavily involved in dental politics as part of the regional BDA branch for over 5 years now, being the current Chair of the Young Dentist Group. As well as this I have represented my LDC nationally on a number of occasions. In these roles, I regularly arrange study clubs, courses and lectures in my local area for dentists of all backgrounds to encourage further continued development within our profession and to involve young dentists in the close community that is ‘dentistry’. Whether this is through the popular BDA Study Clubs or through local Dentinal Tubules events to which I am regional Director.

In addition to these roles and my time spent in general practice I enjoy visiting Newcastle Dental Hospital weekly supervising clinics and giving seminars to third and final year students as well as previously being an Educational Supervisor for Foundation Dentists. I am passionate about the importance of sharing our skills and experiences with future and experienced dentists alike.

I believe I would be a great candidate to sit on the Principal Executive Committee (PEC) for the BDA to help guide direction and strategy internally. I will aim to liase with and listen to my constituents to help relay and influence the thoughts of others.

I feel extremely strongly about our profession and the direction it is heading. We are repeatedly painted a bleak picture for the future of dentistry and for us within it. As a young dentist, an associate, with a long future ahead within our profession I am not willing to accept this. I believe with passionate driven people, we can start to make a change and influence the future with not only the best interests of the patient at heart, but for us, the dentists too.
​Paul Woodhouse
​Three years ago I made a decision that I was sick of sitting on the sidelines moaning about the lot of dentists and the slow death by a thousand cuts of our noble profession. I decided to stand for the PEC and I was fortunate enough to be given a chance, mainly due to an angry rant.

I was angry about so many things and I thought that I would be able to swan in and change the world, naive I know, but not for the reasons that most people think. I was naive because it was far worse than I thought when I actually got to look behind the curtain. I was exposed to the masses of hard work that the BDA does, both staff and elected representatives, lots of which never gets to see the light of day. I also got to see what the BDA fights against that never makes the headlines because in politics the real hard work often goes unnoticed and unreported.

I'm still angry and I'm still fighting, but for the last three years I've had the chance to do it face to face and not shout over social media, I've had the ability to stare down the barrel of the gun and make a difference. Being on the PEC is a difficult job, not only are you a trade union executive but also the director of a company, this means a lot of responsibility and a great investment in time, not to mention the stress of keeping up with the hundreds of emails that fly back and forward.

Three years has not dimmed my desire to fight, I still feel that the powers that be are getting dentistry wrong. The GDC tanker is turning, but not fast enough. The NHS contract is poor and the pilots don't really work as a business model. There are problems with the proposal for workforce development coming out of COPDEND.

I will not be satisfied until the GDC has reduced the ARF to a sensible figure, until they sort out the FTP process and become a reasonable regulator, I will not be satisfied until the NHS produces a contract that works for both dentist and patient. I want to be reelected because I still want to fight, but if not I'll fight on for the profession in any way I can.


South West

​Nigel
Jones
​I’ve served on the BDA PEC since 2012, whilst initially I was learning the ropes, hopefully I now contribute as an effective team player around the table. During my time on the PEC I was trusted with being chair for 6 positive years of the Conference organising Committee, I’ve also continuously sat on the Education Committee & lately have been on the Audit Committee. I’m standing for re-election as I feel I have the time and knowledge to be of help.

I’m very proud of our Association & never miss an opportunity to promote it. I strongly believe that the collective voice of the BDA is needed like never before. (Together we are stronger!)

Whilst most of my experience is of General Practice, I was a clinical assistant in Orthodontics for 6 years and served in the Royal Navy for 5 years, so have a grasp of the differing aspects of our profession.

I’ve been a “VT trainer” for many years; this working with new graduates drives me in my BDA work to give them the opportunities our profession has given me.

I’d be really grateful if you could support me.
Nigel
​​Farima Merhabi

I graduated from Guys in 2016 and since then have carried out my VT training in Bristol and Restorative Core training in Portsmouth. I have since moved back to the Southwest and currently share my time between working part time in a mixed NHS/private and solely private practice and as a Restorative Clinical Teaching fellow at the University of Bristol Dental School. During my few years post graduation I have completed a PGCert in Medical and Dental education and gained my Diploma of membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery. 

As a young dentist I am both seeing and experiencing the new challenges that we are facing post graduation and reassuring and supporting undergraduates coming through. My position at the Dental school allows me to share an understanding and provide near-peer advice to my future colleagues.

I feel it is important to have someone on the committee who is accessible and approachable and can provide insight from both an undergraduate and recently graduated perspective. Creating a platform to promote and spread the message of the BDA is principle as these are the people who will become the future of how dentistry is shaped.

It would be a great opportunity to represent the Southwest and use my position to not only develop experience but to ensure the voices and contributions of everyone is accounted for.

Jonathan Mynors-Wallis
​Looking at some of the other members of the PEC, I do see more of myself than I would like- a middle-aged, slightly overweight, balding male! I wonder how I can differentiate myself from my peer group who have grown up with similar values and prejudices. I would hope that, as a dentist who still works for the NHS and ethically wants to provide good quality, affordable dental care, I would have something to offer. I own my own practice and am not considering selling out as I enjoy dentistry.

I have tried to work locally with the Area Team to improve care for both patients and dentists, but I also have sleepless nights over the regulations and targets that are placed on us.

I am concerned for the future as I see some of my foundation dentists come into the profession with debts of over £80 thousand and shrinking renumeration; I would find it hard to recommend dentistry to my children at this moment. However, I have been to many LDC conferences where dentists complain about government cuts and austerity measures, but dentistry will always be a necessary profession and I would like to have a hand in shaping its future direction.
​Ahmad 
Nounu
​The dental profession has reached a cross roads and moving forward we have a huge potential for positive change. I will endeavour to be the facilitator for that change.

Being a current wet fingered GDP of 10 years and a practice principal has positioned me with a direct involvement in many of the issues that we all face on a day to day basis. I have been involved in both NHS and Private practice during that time and have an excellent grasp of both which allows me to wear both hats suitably well and further represent the profession realistically.

My active involvement with the BDA local and national committees over the past 10 years has also driven me to further involvement with representing my colleagues further. I have personally overseen the setup of the South West BDA Young Dentist Group over the past 7 years into a very active and inspiring group to positively change the lives of many dentists in the early stages of their careers. I have been actively involved on both the national BDA Young Dentist Committee and the General Dental Practice committee’s and fully involved in the changes being proposed to the new contracts and new training pathways for our profession.

My experience of committee level representation outside dentistry on various local and national level be it at local school governor level all the way up to national representation for many organisations adds to my skill setting even further. Having extensive experience of pushing real drive and change in both the dental and the education sector will further help with some of the future challenges we will be facing in the near future.

If elected to the PEC I will be your representative for the South West to drive your trade union to further engage with you and help steer us in the direction to the issues that face us on a daily basis. Our issues ranging from GDC and DLP challenges as well as the new NHS contract pilots being currently undertaken and released soon will also form the basis for our activities moving forward. I want to see a profession with a great morale who are proud to be involved in the dental sector who have the tools to drive oral health improvement in a post-Brexit era.

Yorkshire and Humberside

​​Mick Armstrong
​I was elected to the PEC in Jan 2012 and honoured to be elected by my 14 peers as its Chair in April 2014. I have held that role ever since.

Within my time in office I have also been elected to senior positions within the Council of European Dentists and to the General Practice Committee of the World Dental Federation whilst remaining a member of my own LDC and still working clinically, in a predominantly NHS practice, in a high needs area.

At each and every level, I have witnessed the challenges to the profession mount in both number and intensity and have taken a personal and proactive interest in addressing every single one of them.

I have led the battle against an unjust, overbearing and costly GDC.

Together, with colleagues from the GDPC, we have fought against the failed UDA system and constantly engaged to institute a reformed NHS contract which is better for patients and dentists in equal measure.

I have challenged those who have failed to understand or acknowledge the growing stresses within dentistry or have sought to impose overbearing bureaucracy, whilst giving little or no credit to the profession for the huge contribution we have made to improved oral health.

The dentist should remain the leader of the dental team and we must stand together against those who constantly attack and undermine our professional status. The continuous ill-judged meddling, based on a flawed view of “value for money”, consumerism and no real comprehension of what we do, or indeed, how we do it, has required robust rebuttal where appropriate.

I will continue to seek improvements in the working lives of all dentists, at all stages of their careers, no matter which sphere of practice they work in or in which part of the UK they reside.

The PEC will carry on listening to members and drive the BDA to provide the very best of support and solutions to these challenges. I will engage constructively where there is genuine desire to improve dentistry but not if it is at the further expense of dentists’ wellbeing.

There is more work to do but I remain totally committed to ensuring the BDA is there for all its members, both by representing them and supporting them whenever and wherever we are needed.

I hope you will give me your vote to allow me to do this on your behalf.
​​George Wright
​As a member of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee and Chair of the Associates Group, I have experience in committee work on a national level and feel well equipped to provide a valuable contribution to the BDA’s PEC.

Presently, I work as a Dentolegal Consultant for Dental Protection, while also retaining an element of clinical practice. I have a good understanding of the challenges faced by colleagues in practice and what work needs to be achieved to institute change for the better. For too long the profession have been assured of contract change on the horizon and the goodwill of dentists is being squeezed beyond comprehension. Patient care and access to dentistry is suffering and many dedicated colleagues are choosing to exit the NHS. My work on the Local Professional Network Steering Group in South Yorkshire together with my experience as Deputy Chair of my LDC have instilled in me the need to push for reform.

Education and professional development remain a priority for me. As the current training programme director for the Yorkshire and Humber PLVE programme and having a background as Educational Supervisor and Postgraduate Dental Tutor, I have a good understanding of how the BDA can continue to work to support colleagues with professional development. Not only through the continued provision of quality CPD but looking to develop new workstreams to support colleagues in times of challenge form patients or those forums we typically work in fear of.

Dentistry in 2019 will pose continued challenges. The threat of increasing regulation and the fear of litigation will remain at the forefront of my approach to ensuring the BDA’s voice is heard, representing it’s member’s views to those who need to sit up and listen. We, as a profession, have a real opportunity for increased communication and cooperation to improve things forcolleagues and patients alike and I ask for your vote to be your voice.


UK Wide

​​Mick Armstrong
I was elected to the PEC in Jan 2012 and honoured to be elected by my 14 peers as its Chair in April 2014. I have held that role ever since.

Within my time in office I have also been elected to senior positions within the Council of European Dentists and to the General Practice Committee of the World Dental Federation whilst remaining a member of my own LDC and still working clinically, in a predominantly NHS practice, in a high needs area.

At each and every level, I have witnessed the challenges to the profession mount in both number and intensity and have taken a personal and proactive interest in addressing every single one of them.

I have led the battle against an unjust, overbearing and costly GDC.

Together, with colleagues from the GDPC, we have fought against the failed UDA system and constantly engaged to institute a reformed NHS contract which is better for patients and dentists in equal measure.

I have challenged those who have failed to understand or acknowledge the growing stresses within dentistry or have sought to impose overbearing bureaucracy, whilst giving little or no credit to the profession for the huge contribution we have made to improved oral health.

The dentist should remain the leader of the dental team and we must stand together against those who constantly attack and undermine our professional status. The continuous ill-judged meddling, based on a flawed view of “value for money”, consumerism and no real comprehension of what we do, or indeed, how we do it, has required robust rebuttal where appropriate.

I will continue to seek improvements in the working lives of all dentists, at all stages of their careers, no matter which sphere of practice they work in or in which part of the UK they reside.

The PEC will carry on listening to members and drive the BDA to provide the very best of support and solutions to these challenges. I will engage constructively where there is genuine desire to improve dentistry but not if it is at the further expense of dentists’ wellbeing.

There is more work to do but I remain totally committed to ensuring the BDA is there for all its members, both by representing them and supporting them whenever and wherever we are needed.

I hope you will give me your vote to allow me to do this on your behalf.
​​Edmund Bailey
​I am a Senior Lecturer/Honorary Consultant in Oral Surgery at Barts and The London in Whitechapel (not an ivory tower!).

I believe that through my experiences in both clinical and academic dentistry that I am a well-balanced individual who will go a long way to represent the views of the BDA membership. I understand evidence and I have skills in analysing data and information. I feel that my analytical skills will be of benefit to the PEC and that there are many policies and documents in dentistry that are introduced with very little acknowledgment of the evidence base. I will work to counter this.

I am proud to be a dentist; I have studied hard and worked tirelessly for the benefit of my patients. But how often do we feel this pride in the current climate? As dentists, we are a group of highly skilled, intelligent, caring individuals. But what do we spend our time doing? Beating ourselves up? Never forget that when patients are asked about their satisfaction levels when visiting dentists, these are consistently higher than most other health professionals.

There is a great deal of negativity in the profession at the present time. I believe that much of this is due to agendas, which the profession has not signed up to. I think that we should speak with a collective voice and I feel that the BDA is the means for this.

I have a long history of involvement with the BDA, I was on the BDSA as an undergraduate and I feel that the BDA must be the voice for dentists and that a united front is the only way to face the challenges we encounter as a profession.

I am committed to teaching and training and I thoroughly enjoy my time spent teaching undergraduate students – the next generation of dentists.

In terms of work experience relevant to this role, I have the following experiences:

  • British Association of Oral Surgeons Council Member - I lead on the Consultants and Senior Trainers’ Group – this links into the BDA Hospital Group directly
  • Panel member for the development of the Correct Site Surgery pathway for dental extractions (RCS England/NHS England)
  • Dental representative on the Patient Safety Group at Barts Health NHS Trust.
I would relish the opportunity to be involved in this important committee, which must represent the whole of dentistry, including hospital and academic staff.
​​Paul
Blaylock
​I am seeking re-election to PEC, on which I have been a member since its formation in 2012, to continue working to develop the BDA to reflect the changing needs of the membership as it leads the profession over the coming years. Prior to PEC membership, I represented the Northern region on the BDA Representative Body since 2004.

My role includes Chair of Pensions Committee and Students Committee, with the latter continuing to be highly active since its successful campaign to protect Dental Foundation Trainee salary. I am a member of Finance Committee and the GDPC Remuneration Committee, which aims to improve NHS pay and conditions for GDPs.

I have experience running 2 busy, primarily NHS practices in South Shields, and I understand the mounting difficulties facing primary care dentistry. I am the Regional Dental Workforce Development Advisor for Health Education England in the North East and North Cumbria, also running the popular GPT Dental Foundation Training scheme. I remain an active member of Gateshead & South Tyneside LDC, and I am assisting the Regional LDCs to establish a PASS scheme to support dentists in difficulty.

Northern Counties Branch Council membership keeps me connected with the views of local members in all fields of dentistry, and informs my decisions on PEC. I was Branch President for 3 years from 2012, during which Branch educational and social activity increased throughout the region.

I am particularly keen to support Young Dentists, who are the future of the profession, in their professional life and personal development. Our Branch has facilitated local Young Dentist Group activity, helping it to become one of the most active in the UK.

My work as an Associate Clinical Lecturer at Newcastle Dental Hospital helps me to understand the needs of academic and hospital dentists. I have contact with a wide range of dentists and Providers, including the Community Dental Service, in my Regional Advisor role.

Recent improvements in BDA communication with members must be built upon, as set out in the latest PEC strategy. I regularly listen to members locally and through craft committees and national Councils. I will seek to improve the dissemination of timely and relevant information to members through all available channels.

If elected I will continue to work to ensure that the BDA represents the profession nationally as our trade union and supports individual members as we shape the future of the profession together.
Gabrielle Brooks
​I qualified in 1977 and remained a practice owner until 2011. Along side my General Practice commitment I worked three sessions a week in hospital seeing Special Needs patients.I also did six months as an SHO in Anaethetics and a few years in the Community Dental Service most recently spending two years as Locum Community Dental Officer as the service was "re organized". 

During this time I have seen an enormous number of changes and would like the opportunity to help influence future changes on behalf of my colleagues.
Janine Brooks
I joined the BDA on qualification in 1983. I firmly believe that dentists need a strong Association and that we are better together. Dentists can be a little isolationist, we are certainly very self-reliant and independent and that’s good, but we do need the support of each other, particularly if we are to withstand challenges and take advantage of opportunities. I also believe that the leadership of our Association needs to include a diversity of talent if it is to move forward strongly. The PEC sets the direction for the BDA, the Board members need to be skilled and experienced in strategy, setting priorities and financial management, in addition to the knowledge that comes from being a dental professional. I have a broad knowledge of those requirements acquired in a number of organisations, local and national.

The BDA is seeking to re-frame it’s offering to members. If this is to be successful the needs of the members of the profession need to be fully understood. In the last 20 years there has been a radical shift in the gender balance of dentistry. Women comprise the majority of dentists under the age of 45 years. Society is changing and younger individuals are looking to balance home and work commitments, men are seeking a greater share in the care of their children. What worked in the past is unlikely to work in the future, we must forge a new paradigm. The BDA needs to appeal to the changing demographic and aspirations of the whole dental profession.

I have a broad range and depth of professional, dental and healthcare experience that I would like to put to good use working for the Association and the role of PEC member would allow me that opportunity.

I enjoy a ‘portfolio’ career blended within an envelope of education. I am a quality assurance associate for the GDC; lead clinical tutor (Law and Ethics) for the Bristol University BUOLD programme; Trustee for the Dentists' Health Support Trust and a Coach for the Professional Support Unit in Thames Valley. In addition, I run my own coaching and training consultancy, Dentalia; I am a partner in the Dental Coaching Academy and also co-founder of Dental Mentors UK.

My previous experience includes; Associate Director (Dentistry) for the National Clinical Assessment Service; Non-executive director CDS CIC; Associate Postgraduate Dental Dean, Thames Valley and Wessex; Caldicott Guardian for the NHS Information Authority.
Sarah Canavan
​Do you want someone to represent you who is prepared to put in any amount of hard work and who has the conviction to speak out passionately and effectively FOR YOU? I am confident I can do this and would really appreciate your vote.

My name is Sarah Canavan and I graduated as a dentist from the Royal London Hospital in 1995 and subsequently obtained a MSc in Pain Management from Edinburgh University in 2007. I have been lucky enough to work in various areas of the dental profession starting as a dental nurse while paying my way through University, spending a large chunk of my career as a Senior Dental Officer in the SDS in various locations and for the last 8 years as a dental associate in NHS/Private practice. 

Much like the rest of my colleagues I’m sure I spend the majority of my time at work worrying about the direction our profession is going in and what the future holds for us as dentists. I reached a point where expressing my concerns to my peers was not enough and I wanted to be in a position where I could actually have an impact on our working lives.

That’s why I joined the GDPC Associates Group and have found the position really rewarding on a personal and team level. What it has done is whetted my appetite to help more. I have spent the majority of my career plodding along and accepting change but enough is enough. 

It's time to help make positive changes for me and all my colleagues on a wider platform. That's why I'm asking to join the PEC.
Kevin Caruana
I qualified from the University of Malta in 2003 and emigrated to the UK in 2005. I started working under the NHS, but then moved to a private arrangement. I have obtained Diplomas in Restorative dentistry and Dental Implants at the FGDP(UK), and an MSc in Clinical Restorative Dentistry at Leeds university.

Since coming over to the UK the NHS contract changed and the GDC fees started creeping up, and litigation has been rising.

The only body I saw that could help was the BDA, but whoever I asked about them they all said it was a waste of time and money.

I joined the BDA anyway and found it to be quite a useful membership - the access to the library services is great, the information and templates very useful, and the advice line has been amazing.
I think it's one of those organisations that you dont't realise the benefit until you join and start using the services. How nice is it to have expert help when needed instead of being stuck in an anxious limbo ?!.

The BDA is the only body out there looking after dentists, for quite a reasonable price!.

I am nominating myself as a member of the Principal Executive Committee to bring things forward, and help head in the right direction. We need to steer the profession, and we need to be represented by a fair, understanding, and powerful body, otherwise we will just be trampled over.

Luckily, I have also seen the BDA make a difference in recent years. Things are moving forward, and I want to be part of that.
​Bharvan Dedhia
​I am youngish associate working in a social enterprise and also trustee board member for same.

I wish to run for this seat as I am aware of the woes faced by those in NHS dentistry and I believe in bringing positive change from within the profession for the profession. I also am on couple other panels for charities locally. I wish to engage and eager to participate in the organisation working towards promising future of dentistry.
​​Marion English
I would like the BDA to continue to thrive.

I believe we need to encourage more young dentists to join the BDA, to get involved , make a positive difference and ensure their voice is heard. It is important to relieve stress in the profession. Getting involved in the BDA enables GDP’s to meet other dentists, share ideas and problems and learn from experts and also make use of the great resources of the BDA.

I am still a hardworking dentist, working at the coal-face, who is genuinely concerned enough to change things for the better, and put in hard work to ensure this happens.

I am not afraid to speak out against the consensus when I feel strongly on an issue.

I have been an Associate, then a Principal, and now an Associate again in a 4-surgery general practice in a career spanning over 30 years.

I have also been an F.D. Trainer and, in 2005 I set up a Dental Nurses Course,at the QEII postgraduate centre, which ran successfully for 10 years.

In 2013 I obtained an MA in Medical Education.

I also have other roles as Branch Secretary of the Middx and Herts BDA, Secretary of the North Herts BDA, and Chair of the Herts LDC and also a member of GDPC.

These roles bring me into contact with GDP’s in many different spheres of dentistry. I feel that my extensive involvement locally at BDA section and branch level, and LDC level has prepared me for further challenges. I believe my business experience could be valuable, could make a difference and help influence the future direction of the BDA.

The Profession today faces a number of challenges:
  • Over regulation of the Profession has led to very high stress levels.
  • Litigation against Dentists continues to rise, and has caused many to practice defensive dentistry in the face of increasing patient expectation.
  • The inflated ARF and increasing indemnity costs are having a damaging effect upon the profession.
  • Income has shrunk considerably over the past 10 years.
Life for the GDP, as a consequence of the above, and particularly for those younger members of the Profession is very challenging. I feel that I have the experience, enthusiasm and application necessary to make a useful contribution to the work of the PEC, and to assist BDA members in the different branches of the Profession.
​​Shareena Ilyas
​The BDA has worked hard for the profession, whilst faced with ever-increasing challenges. A popular saying affirms ‘insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.’ It is time to collectively identify inventive solutions which require different perspectives from the grassroots.

My experience includes roles as GDP, Trainer, and Local/National BDA and LDC positions, since qualifying from QMUL(1998). My passion, unique perspective and knowledge equip me well to inspire change and allow me to raise concerns on behalf of all spheres of the profession.

Despite Non-Practice owners and women making up a large proportion of the profession, we are yet to see their active representation. As members, we are the BDA, by being more proactive and unified-we will be stronger and effective.

My vision is to organise Mentoring Schemes to support dentists working in toxic environments until the ‘balance-shifts’ upstream. Like other professions, we should aim to remove the stigma of mentoring by using it as a norm towards excellence, supporting proactively to prevent performance issues, and not only for remediation. At a time where many are looking to leave Dentistry because of stress and low morale, our peers need support now more than ever. I am passionate about driving forward an initiative originating from the profession to create a culture of support, aligning with the BDA’s strategic plan.

It is disheartening that not much has changed since Dentistry was missed from the Five-year-Forward View(2014), and policymakers still miss the important links between oral and overall health. Considering this, we need to promote the profession in a better light, change the narrative to regain the trust and respect of the public.

My extensive experience, a track record of serving the profession and helping dentists over the past twenty years prepares me to actively represent you on the PEC. I ask you to put your trust in me in this election to positively influence the decisions made for the future of Dentistry.

Experience:
  • Coaching/Mentoring
  • GDPC(LDC Conference Representative) and Remuneration Sub-Committee(2017-present)
  • Sterling Dental Foundation, Trustee(2017-present), President(2014-17)
  • Ealing LDC(2009-present)
  • BDA Branch Council Middlesex/Herts,(1999-present), Assistant-Secretary(2010-14)
  • Educational Supervisor Wessex(2012-18)
  • National Recruitment Panel(2016-17)
  • Conference Agenda Committee(2014-17)
  • General Practice Appraiser(2014-16)
  • London Confederation Council(2011-16)
  • Associate Committee(2009-15)
  • Representative Body(2009-12)
  • EAC BDA Section, Chair(2005-08), Secretary(2001-05), Benevolent-Fund
  • Representative(1999-2001)
  • Chair YDG Middlesex/Herts(2003-07)
  • Shareena Ilyas BDS PGCCE
​​Nigel
Jones
​I’ve served on the BDA PEC since 2012, whilst initially I was learning the ropes, hopefully I now contribute as an effective team player around the table. During my time on the PEC I was trusted with being chair for 6 positive years of the Conference organising Committee, I’ve also continuously sat on the Education Committee & lately have been on the Audit Committee. I’m standing for re-election as I feel I have the time and knowledge to be of help.

I’m very proud of our Association & never miss an opportunity to promote it. I strongly believe that the collective voice of the BDA is needed like never before. (Together we are stronger!)

Whilst most of my experience is of General Practice, I was a clinical assistant in Orthodontics for 6 years and served in the Royal Navy for 5 years, so have a grasp of the differing aspects of our profession.

I’ve been a “VT trainer” for many years; this working with new graduates drives me in my BDA work to give them the opportunities our profession has given me.

I’d be really grateful if you could support me.
Nigel
​​Farima Merhabi
​I graduated from Guys in 2016 and since then have carried out my VT training in Bristol and Restorative Core training in Portsmouth. I have since moved back to the Southwest and currently share my time between working part time in a mixed NHS/private and solely private practice and as a Restorative Clinical Teaching fellow at the University of Bristol Dental School. During my few years post graduation I have completed a PGCert in Medical and Dental education and gained my Diploma of membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery. 

As a young dentist I am both seeing and experiencing the new challenges that we are facing post graduation and reassuring and supporting undergraduates coming through. My position at the Dental school allows me to share an understanding and provide near-peer advice to my future colleagues.

I feel it is important to have someone on the committee who is accessible and approachable and can provide insight from both an undergraduate and recently graduated perspective. Creating a platform to promote and spread the message of the BDA is principle as these are the people who will become the future of how dentistry is shaped.

It would be a great opportunity to represent the Southwest and use my position to not only develop experience but to ensure the voices and contributions of everyone is accounted for.
Nigel Parkash
​Nigel Parkash BDS MJDF RCS (eng)
Originally from the North East I am an enthusiastic and passionate young dentist. I graduated from Newcastle University Dental School in 2013 and have since worked locally providing both NHS and Private dentistry.

Following graduation, I have invested a large amount of time further developing my skills and knowledge to provide a wide range of care to my patients at the highest standard. I have obtained my MJDF, a post-graduate certificate in healthcare learning along with an extensive list of other certificated training related to operative dentistry.

I have been heavily involved in dental politics as part of the regional BDA branch for over 5 years now, being the current Chair of the Young Dentist Group. As well as this I have represented my LDC nationally on a number of occasions. In these roles, I regularly arrange study clubs, courses and lectures in my local area for dentists of all backgrounds to encourage further continued development within our profession and to involve young dentists in the close community that is ‘dentistry’. Whether this is through the popular BDA Study Clubs or through local Dentinal Tubules events to which I am regional Director.

In addition to these roles and my time spent in general practice I enjoy visiting Newcastle Dental Hospital weekly supervising clinics and giving seminars to third and final year students as well as previously being an Educational Supervisor for Foundation Dentists. I am passionate about the importance of sharing our skills and experiences with future and experienced dentists alike.

I believe I would be a great candidate to sit on the Principal Executive Committee (PEC) for the BDA to help guide direction and strategy internally. I will aim to liase with and listen to my constituents to help relay and influence the thoughts of others.

I feel extremely strongly about our profession and the direction it is heading. We are repeatedly painted a bleak picture for the future of dentistry and for us within it. As a young dentist, an associate, with a long future ahead within our profession I am not willing to accept this. I believe with passionate driven people, we can start to make a change and influence the future with not only the best interests of the patient at heart, but for us, the dentists too.
Smita
Rajani
​I qualified from Guys Dental Hospital in 1993. I have worked and owned 2 NHS/Private practices for over 20 years and have recently become the Vice chair of Herts LDC. I have recently obtained my MA in Dental Law and Ethics and have a keen interest in the ethical and moral issues relating to dentistry. My dissertation involved looking into the educational and provisional gap in primary dental services for the treatment of special needs children in primary care.

I am a clinical member of the Local Dental Network (LDN) for South Central and Thames Valley and have played an active part in Starting Well programmes, including the procurement of these contracts, for this region. We are at present implementing a Referral Management System for this region for which I am involved in setting up the referral criteria and specifications that are suitable for companies to start bidding for the procurement process. I work in general practice for 2-3 days a week and additionally have a part time post as a Clinical Dental Advisor for NHS England in the Central Midlands region.

My additional roles have given me a lot of experience at handling and analysing large amounts of information and report writing. I have the ability to communicate effectively, accurately and concisely as well as being objective and impartial at all times. My role as vice chair has enabled me to communicate and support colleagues which are constantly under pressure under the current contract by liaising with the local area team and supporting the practitioner resolve contractural issues.

My role on the LDN has included working with key stake holders on delivering and developing local health priorities to help meet local and national priorities set by the 5 year forward NHS England plan. The role has given me the confidence to give credible and consistent clinical advice to commissioners and providers ensuring clinical support is prioritised and in alignment with improving clinical activities.

I am passionate about the new changes that may affect the dental profession in the future and I realise that the experienced dentists need to carve the path for younger professionals so that they can continue to provide a service which is patient friendly, ethical and ensuring best practice for patient care. I have the knowledge, experience and skills to take on this post and contribute actively as a PEC member.
​​Ravi Ramamurthi
​Dentistry in the UK is at this moment is on the threshold of changes. On the one hand we note significant advances in materials and technological innovations, availability of the state of art treatment. On the other hand we have regressive guidelines imposed by NHS boards, CQC and litigation specialist and also unrealistic GDC all of the above seemingly arrayed against Dentists.

Sadly nothing has been done to address caries in children and extractions except a supposedly salutary tax which benefits only the Treasury. Nothing has been done to improve poor attendance and compliance and unchanged NHS contracts which impose both financial and regulatory constraints on a newly qualified associate.

I however sincerely and truly believe I can working in the BDA halt this Cataclysmic slide imposed on us and truly augur progress which is needed bridging the gap between technological advancement which is freely available to all.

I am in active practice, primarily hospital based, but also work in Primary care and academics providing very vital link between practitioners and hospital services and actively participate in guiding Vocational trainees and DCT's.

I qualified BDS (Bangalore 1978) and MDS Oral surgery (Madras 1983), I obtained my FDS in 1995 after teaching positions abroad. I had to complete my Statutory Exams for permanent Registration and now am an Examiner for the ORE Exams, I am also on the Oral Surgery Specialist list since its inception.

Starting at a grassroots level as a Temporary Registrant and advancing through the ranks I am fully aware of the travails which besets an aspirant on this pathway.

I am also involved in provision of Specialist Services in Prison to a needy group of people.
What can I bring into the BDA? BDA is unreservedly for Dentists, a progressive plan with necessary Legislative changes in the Government which is caught up with the vagaries of Brexit and has put Dentistry on the back-burner. Far reaching legislative changes are necessary to address the current situation.

I will strive to take up improvement of dental services to children and young adults. I will try to bring in legislation to mitigate (frivolous ) litigation against dentists bringing in a ceiling on compensation reducing financial strain on defence organisations and at the same time duly compensate needy litigants.

Help young dentists by improving mentoring and provide guidance and support when facing complaints and litigation by setting up supportive cells.
​​Stephen Shimberg
​First Man - The new movie First Man has just been released, and it has already been tipped to win a shed load of Oscars. It tells the story of Neil Armstrong the first man to set foot on the moon. Probably most of you reading this address weren’t around at the time of that momentous event but you may have at some point in time, seen the grainy black and white pictures on your TV.

The moon has stayed the same since 1969 (actually since the beginning of our solar system) but the world we live in has changed dramatically, and so has dentistry.

Every day of the week, our profession is being challenged from all quarters and our livelihood eroded, let alone our professional standards. Yet what is expected of us is perfection in an imperfect world, with an ever-decreasing financial reward.
An imperfect world where our regulators demonstrate despicable double standards.

An imperfect world where we are frightened to open a letter, for fear it has been sent from one of those vulture legal companies who see us as easy pickings.

An imperfect world where most of us are unable to get onto the ladder of practice ownership, the ultimate goal for the majority of dentists.

So as a prospective PEC member what can I say to you that will entice you to make me, your first choice in this election?

The BDA membership and the wider profession are crying out for firm leadership and to stand up to the bullies that are making your life, and mine a misery.
Success can be achieved by being resolute and steadfast as well as being innovative and forward thinking. The most important thing we have on our side is that no one and I mean no one can do the job of dentistry, other than us. We must exploit this exclusivity, and if elected you have my total commitment to do just that.

C.V.’s are boring, and only tell the reader what the writer wants you to know. Rarely do they portray the hard knocks in life. So please take my C.V. as read, hard knocks and all.

I am no astronaut, but I will go to the moon and back in order to achieve the outcomes we all desire and our patients deserve.

Words are words, but actions achieve results.

That’s not rocket science, is it?
​​Veenu
Singla
​I am very keen to join and serve BDA's privileged team as I have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure serving BDA over the past years as President of BDA North of Scotland Branch, Chair of BDA Aberdeen Section. I have been very passionate about my role and take substantial responsibilities to move the BDA forward.

When I had taken over Aberdeen Section, it was non-functional with minimal funds. I gathered a team of working professionals to form a committed committee and started our journey to flourish BDA in the region all over again. My goodwill and passion for dentistry has always supported me with the best of people in the field and we managed to get members together. I have always been in great terms with people in the primary and secondary services, marketing with all dental companies, fellow colleagues and consultants. I managed to collect substantial funds for the section time and again and have been pleased to offer services that involved BDA updates, CPD with renowned speakers, social tea, Indian curry, dance and music to the point that I managed to leave this committee with pride during my move from Scotland to England.

There must surely be something that I have done right as I was pleased to hear from BDA all over again after my move to Manchester. With no contacts in this new alien town, I was glad to be associated again with BDA as Chair BDA Stockport / Mid Cheshire Sections, due to my past contributions and credentials as I have religiously enjoyed serving the BDA.

I am Experienced, confident, dynamic, passionate, dedicated and hardworking Dentist with a strong desire and drive to learn the necessary skills. I am able to multitask, prioritise, work out of hours. I have excellent problem solving, communication skills, believe in team work and interact with diverse group of professionals at all levels with comfort. I am recognised for honesty, hard work, tenacity and defatigable work ethics.

I realise how much networking opportunities the BDA has created for me and would love to be a part of the BDA in it’s continuous aim to serving the community at a national level. I realise people work for people and that the BDA takes major emphasis in my life as it has helped me to grow as an individual. I would love to continue my services as I am very passionate about BDA.
​​Paul Woodhouse
​Three years ago I made a decision that I was sick of sitting on the sidelines moaning about the lot of dentists and the slow death by a thousand cuts of our noble profession. I decided to stand for the PEC and I was fortunate enough to be given a chance, mainly due to an angry rant.

I was angry about so many things and I thought that I would be able to swan in and change the world, naive I know, but not for the reasons that most people think. I was naive because it was far worse than I thought when I actually got to look behind the curtain. I was exposed to the masses of hard work that the BDA does, both staff and elected representatives, lots of which never gets to see the light of day. I also got to see what the BDA fights against that never makes the headlines because in politics the real hard work often goes unnoticed and unreported.

I'm still angry and I'm still fighting, but for the last three years I've had the chance to do it face to face and not shout over social media, I've had the ability to stare down the barrel of the gun and make a difference. Being on the PEC is a difficult job, not only are you a trade union executive but also the director of a company, this means a lot of responsibility and a great investment in time, not to mention the stress of keeping up with the hundreds of emails that fly back and forward.

Three years has not dimmed my desire to fight, I still feel that the powers that be are getting dentistry wrong. The GDC tanker is turning, but not fast enough. The NHS contract is poor and the pilots don't really work as a business model. There are problems with the proposal for workforce development coming out of COPDEND.

I will not be satisfied until the GDC has reduced the ARF to a sensible figure, until they sort out the FTP process and become a reasonable regulator, I will not be satisfied until the NHS produces a contract that works for both dentist and patient. I want to be reelected because I still want to fight, but if not I'll fight on for the profession in any way I can.


What’s the timetable? 

Ballotforms will begin to be distributed on 12 November and will close at noon on 6 December. If you have not received a ballot form by 20 November please contact the elections team.

 

Make sure your details are up-to-date on your MyBDA record and that you've ticked the box/es to receive updates from us.

 

Successfully elected representatives for the PEC will take their seats from 1 January 2019.

  

What does the PEC do?

The PEC has overall responsibility for the control and direction of the policy and affairs of the BDA, and its members are the directors of the BDA.

 

It is made up of 15 members, each has a share of overall responsibilities, and this includes:

 

  • attendance at all meetings of the PEC – around five a year, occassionally more
  • attendance at relevant country council meetings – usually three a year
  • attendance at our UK Council meetings – around two a year
  • take a seat on one or two sub committees/issue specific forums
  • attend general meetings of the BDA

It is anticipated that the approximate time commitment for a member of the PEC will be 20 days per year, with an annual remuneration of £15,000.

 

Elected members hold office for three years (until December 2021).

 

Want to know more?

Information below cover what is expected of our elected representatives, what experience you need, what you will do and what sort of commitment is required. 

 

Find out about our current PEC members.


What is the PEC? 

The Principal Executive Committee (PEC) runs the BDA and functions as a board. It balances what is right for the Association with what is right for individual members, and what is right for the profession.  

 

The PEC is comprised of 15 elected seats, nine for England, one each for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and three UK-wide seats. 

 

The BDA is a democratic organisation and relies on the input and drive of our Committees to work towards improving the working lives of all sections of dentistry.  

 

What sort of issues does the PEC work on?

The PEC’s role is to guide the direction and strategy of the BDA in terms of governance.  

 

What’s in it for me? / What will I get out of it? 

That depends really. You get to try and influence the development of the profession you work in, but you also get to meet colleagues who may be able to offer advice and help in and with your career, either now or in the future. 

 

PEC positions attract an annual stipend of £15,000 per annum.  

 

The BDA will cover reasonable travel expenses for members attending meetings.  

 

Lunches are provided for all day meetings. 

 

What sort of time commitment is it? 

The PEC meets five times a year and the meetings are usually for a whole day. 

 

Ideally you will need to commit some time before meetings to reading the relevant papers and also to liaising with constituents where appropriate.  

 

This will depend on the amount of work that is currently ongoing. 

 

Obviously the more our representatives read and consider, the more likely they are to understand the nuances of each subject and contribute more to the discussion and decision. 

 

How long are seats elected for? 

PEC members are elected by their constituents on a three-year basis.

  

Five of the 15 PEC seats are up for election each year on a rolling basis, to enable new people to stand.

 

Do I need any specific skills/experience to stand? 

There is no checklist as to what makes a good board member. However, the ability to digest complex committee papers, think clearly and independently, express your opinion and listen to and appreciate the opinions of others is always welcome. 

 

If you’ve not been involved in the BDA or dental politics before, a good way in is to get involved at a local level, through the BDA Branches and Sections or Local Dental Committee (LDC). 

 

You’ll get to learn about current issues in dental politics and you’ll learn valuable negotiating skills. It’s also a great networking opportunity – you’ll get to meet dentists from other fields of practice, and from across the UK. 

 

You’ll also get a sense of satisfaction that you are making a difference and influencing the future direction of dentistry and the BDA.  

 

Who can stand? 

Only BDA members can stand for election to the PEC (excluding student members) and we welcome applications from members in all crafts and from all areas of the UK..

 

See our current members here – we currently have GDPs, practice owners, associates, private practitioners, dental academic and research staff on our board.  

 

You can be any age, or at any stage of your career, to stand.  

 

How do I stand for a PEC seat? 

The seats up for election this year are: 

 

  • Northern Region 

  • Yorkshire and the Humber 

  • Northern Ireland 

  • South West 

  • UK wide 

You just need to fill out your details on our online nomination form, including a short personal statement of why you are standing.  

 

What happens if the seat I stand for is contested?

If you are eligibile (you must be a BDA member) your nomination will be put through.

 

If the seat you are standing for is contested (i.e there is more than one candidate standing), then there will be a vote.  

 

All BDA members are entitled to vote.

 

If you are standing for a regional seat, we recommend that you speak to colleagues locally, and garner support for your nomination.  

 

Getting support from colleagues for your candidacy

Canvassing for votes is an integral part of an election.

 

However, candidates must not use BDA resources to canvas voters and should not send unsolicited communications to them, but they can use their own social media to encourage votes. 

 

Candidates should think carefully about using other networks to support their candidacy.

 

Here are some dos and don'ts of canvassing: 

 

  • Do role model BDA behaviours at all times in the election process 
  • Do highlight your strengths and experience 
  • Don't post negative comments about rival candidates 
  • Do contact the Secretariat immediately if you believe other candidates are behaving inappropriately 
  • Do discourage heckling during any hustings or on social media 
  • Don't put pressure on people to vote for you or ask others to do the same 
  • Don't make promises you can't keep - you will be held to account in the next round of elections 

If you're not sure what is and is not acceptable, ask for advice from our elections team.

 

Will I get training? 

There is no formal training for PEC members but it can be arranged by the Board Secretary if it is thought to be helpful.  

 

Your colleagues, BDA staff, and the Secretariat will be there to help support and guide you.

 

Will there be any public-speaking or media appearances? 

Not necessarily. Ideally all committee members will contribute to discussions at meetings.

 

Outside of meetings, there is no obligation on members to speak at other meetings, but obviously if they can it helps us to spread the message of our work and our strategy.

 

The BDA’s experienced media team is on hand to support you for any public speaking or media appearances and training and support is provided, if you are required to do this. 

 

Other ways to get involved

Not ready yet to put yourself forward for the PEC, but you are interested in taking part in helping us steer the future of dentistry? Here are some other ways you can get involved.

Any questions? 

If you have any questions that aren’t covered in our FAQs, please get in touch: elections@bda.org or Tel: 0207 563 4141