Steve Brine addressing the reception
This week, I had the pleasure of welcoming MPs, Lords, dentists and representatives from the BDA, oral health organisations to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry and Oral Health's Christmas reception on 12 December, which was organised and co-sponsored by the BDA.
I was very pleased the new Health Minister responsible for dentistry, Steve Brine MP, accepted our invitation to address the APPG.
In his opening speech he assured the guests of his dedication to improving oral health outcomes and his commitment to delivering dental contract reform in England.
In my response, I thanked the assembled parliamentarians for their ongoing support in raising the profile of dentistry in Parliament and called on the Government to work with the profession to deliver better outcomes for patients, and better working terms for those providing dental care.
I expressed hope that the fledgling first steps of Starting Well are allowed to flourish, and are given the funding to evolve into real oral health prevention strategy, and that with the Minister's commitment to dental contract reform the process can progress with renewed vigour.
I've been asked what I want in my Christmas stocking, and I'd settle on an acknowledgement of the importance of good oral health to patients, and the funding to implement this, and put the 'p' word into practice.
But I'm equally convinced that throughout the health sector happy practitioners deliver the best care and outcomes for patients.
And I also expressed hope that everyone gathered at the event will work together towards delivering just that.
I was pleased to see the reception very well attended, with representatives of all major oral health organisations, dental press, senior civil servants and parliamentarians coming along to talk about oral health issues.
We plan to build on the many useful conversations my colleagues and I began during this event, during the coming months and we'll keep you updated on our progress.
Dental Officer Sara Hurley speaking to oral cancer campaigner Steve Bergman
gathering in the Jubilee Room
Gardner, Steve McCabe MP and Baroness Redfern with their 'smile-friendly'
Director of Dental Public Health Dr Sandra White with last Dean of the FDS Dr
Chair Mick Armstrong addressing the guests
Steve Brine MP speaking to APPG Vice-Chair Yasmin Qureshi MP
Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Baroness Walmsley
Department of Health's Hamid Butt speaking to Clare Ledingham from the British Society for Peadiatric Dentistry
Chair of BDA's GDPC Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen speaking to BDA Director Martin Woodrow and Steve Bergman
BDJ Editor in Chief Stephen Hancocks speaking to BDIA Vice-President Daniel Davis and Prof Jenny Gallagher from King’s Dental School