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New national lead for Dental Public Health at PHE

We offer our congratulations to Dr Anna Ireland on her appointment to the new Dental Public Health lead at Public Health England.

DPHC Meeting Members


Pre-COVID, pictured left to right: Albert Yeung, Robert Witton, Nigel Monaghan, Anna Ireland, Alison Lockyer and Ellis Friedman

We are committed to working with her team both on managing transition to a new public health system, while confronting the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on oral health.

Public Health England's health improvement functions are set to move to the new Office for Health Promotion at the Department of Health and Social care by the autumn. Items on the to do list include:

  • Supporting government plans to promote water fluoridation for dental health
  • Providing expertise for an England-wide supervised toothbrushing programme for young children, if it materialises following an outstanding consultation intended to take place last year.

The Office for Health Promotion will continue to have an overarching role ensuring there are sufficient Dental Public Health trainees and consultants to deliver the aforementioned Dental Public Health tasks. Anna succeeds Sandra White following her recent retirement.

After starting off in general practice, Anna worked as both a local CDPH and more recently as part of the national team at PHE. She served as chair of the BDA's Dental Public Health Committee from 2015 to 2019.

Dr Robert Witton, Chair of our Dental Public Health Committee said:

"Our congratulations to Anna, who arrives in post at a crucial time for dental public health.

"We know the issues in her inbox are eye-watering, with access to services slashed, widening health inequality, and the need to ensure a smooth transition to new public structures at both national and local levels.

"The challenges ahead are stark, but we are committed to work with her to meet them head on."