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​Community dentists honoured for outstanding commitment to patient care

15 January 2019

Two community dentists have been honoured in this year's round of BDA Honours and Awards, Helen Pailthorpe and Michelle Slater for their outstanding commitment to patient care.


Helen Pailthorpe: championing the CDS at local and national level

Helen-Pailthorpe-300px.jpgHelen Pailthorpe has been awarded a Fellowship in recognition for her outstanding career in community dentistry and her work championing the CDS at a local and national level.

Helen is currently Head of Service at the Berkshire Community Dental Service. She qualified in 1976 from the Birmingham Dental School and has held a long career in community dental services.

Throughout her career, Helen has gained qualifications as a specialist in Special Care Dentistry, Dental public health (MSc), and has participated in Leadership and Management Programmes within the BDA.

Active at a local level, Helen was secretary of Oxford Division CDS Group for many years before becoming a member of BDA CDS GMC, which she then chaired the for six years, ending in 2013 and is now auditor for the GMC accounts. She was the BDA's CDS group President from 2014-2015 and continues to take part in the .  

Helen has nurtured, persuaded, encouraged and supported all members of the GMC with passion and enthusiasm over the years.

Her work to develop the BDA's Quality in Dental Services Scheme (QIDS), is a a major achievement, and it has only continued because of her enthusiasm and commitment.

In nominating her, Dr Gill Greenwood, current BDA CDS GMC Chair, said:


"Helen is one of the most kind, empathic, compassionate and considerate people I know. She works tirelessly to support colleagues, support and provide care for patients in the community service and is a tower of strength to us all.

"Helen has been very closely involved in the training of the new generation of StRs in Special Care Dentistry. Her work behind the scenes, to provide excellent educational courses for the BDA CDS Group, is to be commended."


Michelle Slater: dedication to special care dentistry

Michelle Slater has been awarded Life Membership at the BDA, in recognition for her long career in special care dentistry.

Michelle qualified from Kings College London in 1975 and went on to gain an MSc in Dental Public health in 1996.

Starting out as a GDP, she chose a career path in special care dentistry in 1996, and worked in Trafford until 2012, as a SDO special needs/clinical supervisor. Michelle was a trustee of the BDA Benevolent fund from 2003 – 2017.

Along with her regional work as a representative of the Trafford LDC group (2008 – 2016) and the Women in Dentistry (North West Group), Michelle acted as a representative at French Dental Congress between 1989 – 1992, and spoke at the French Dental Congress between 1989–2007.

Beyond her work within the dental community, Michelle has worked with Governor Inscape School (Together Trust) for children with Autism since 2017, a cause she is passionate about.

In nominating her, Dr Gill Greenwood, current BDA CDS GMC Chair, said:

"Michelle has been a stalwart of the community dental service, and her passion and commitment for the CDS and her patients is truly inspiring.

"She has always taken part, at both a local and national level, supporting others and standing up for the CDS. Her tireless work championing special care dentistry, and her pursuit of the best care for her patients, are an example for us all. 

"Michelle's dedication and commitment have been impressive, and we are delighted her work is being recognised by the BDA."

Nominate for the BDA's Honours and Awards

The BDA's Honours and Awards recognises the amazing contributions dentists make to both the BDA and outstanding commitments to the profession in the national, government and/or international spheres.

We encourage nominations from all areas and stages of dentistry, and we seek to represent the diversity of dentistry today, and ensure the work of inspiring dentists is recognised: Nominate now!