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​Front-line dentists honoured for outstanding contributions

11 December 2017




Two front-line dentists in England are being recognised by the BDA for their inspiring contributions to dentistry: Jerry Asquith and Shelagh Farrell.


Jerry Asquith is awarded Life Membership of the BDA, for his long and valuable service to the profession. Throughout his distinguished career, Jerry has worked in both hospital and general dental practice and he has been involved with his local BDA Branch and Section for many years, supporting and encouraging younger colleagues.

He has served his profession through membership of his Local Dental Committees, the General Dental Practice Committee, the BDA's former Representative Body and a seat on the BDA English and UK Country Councils.

He also contributed as a Special Adviser to a former Minister of Health (Ann Keen), and in 2014, he was elected President of King's College London Alumni association, the first NHS General Dental Practitioner to hold this position. In this role, he has ensured nine new scholarships for students to travel abroad for elective studies, and been tasked with fundraising to develop a new postgraduate centre for Kings.

In support of Jerry's nomination, Dame Margaret Seward said:

"As a front-line dentist, Jerry understands the pressures his colleagues are under at a time of increasing regulation. His work for the branch has been extensive, he's been involved in meetings for over 30 years, always being passionate about getting local dentists to bond together. Jerry is also a tireless advocate for encouraging younger dentists to become involved with the BDA, and for the BDA to extend its activities across the UK.

Shelagh Farrell, Specialist in Prosthodontics, is awarded Fellowship of the BDA, for her distinguished service to the profession.

After qualifying in 1971, and gaining experience in a hospital setting, Shelagh built an NHS practice from scratch in 1973, at a time when it was unusual for a younger, female dentist to take on this challenge.

She has long been involved with her local BDA branches, having been President of the Western and most recently being elected President of the Southern Counties Branch.

Shelagh was a member of the BDA's Representative Board (Body) for 19 years and was the first female elected as a member of the BDA's Council in 1987.

Throughout her career, Shelagh has been committed to teaching and learning, and has contributed extensively to both dental faculties of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. She became a Specialist in Prosthodontics in 2000.

Shelagh was an elected member of the council of the General Dental Council for 12 years.

In nominating Shelagh for a BDA Award, BDA Past National President Dr Anthony Kravitz, OBE said:

"In my long career in dentistry, I've not encountered a dentist more worthy of receiving a BDA Honour and Award than Shelagh. She has worked hard for her colleagues in so many spheres of dentistry and has won admiration from colleagues, for her volunteering work."

Do you know someone going that extra mile? BDA Honours and Awards

The BDA Honours and Awards aims to recognise and show appreciation for those who are going the extra mile for their profession and for the Association.


If you know someone who you think should be recognised for the outstanding work they do, please nominate them.