Chief dental officer appointment
Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer for England, has been appointed Honorary Professor in Dentistry at the University of Manchester’s School of Dentistry. Professor Hurley will work with researchers in health technology and evidence synthesis and brings her expertise in strategy and health policy. She gave an inaugural lecture in May.
The School of Dentistry was part of the Unit of Assessment 3 (Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy) in the Research Exercise Framework 2014 and was judged to be first of the 94 submissions from across the UK in terms of overall research performance including outputs, environment and impact. Devolved Greater Manchester Health and Social Care as of April 2016 offers the opportunity to progress transformation of dental services in unique ways as a testing ground for England and Sara’s appointment is opportune to the increased collaboration between academic research and public health delivery and policy.
Sara Hurley has had a distinguished military career. Her last role was a Commanding Officer/Chief Executive, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine. She holds the title of Queen’s Honorary Dental Surgeon and was Chief Dental Officer (Army) and Army Post Graduate Council (Dental) and a Member of Chief of Defence Staff Strategy Forum. Sara is a strategist.
Superb Research Performance
Our Dental School research is structured as Health Technology, Evidence Synthesis/Evidence-Based Practice, and Craniofacial. We are very successful nationally and globally. Our students created and hosted the first ever British Undergraduate Dental Research Conference held in March.
We held the second very successful Conference at University Place in March 2016. Ariyan Sadeghzadeh- Araghi and Junaid Osman, the co-presidents of the Manchester Dental Students Society (MDDSS), attended the European Dental Student Society conference in Portugal and presented to over 500 delegates and 25 European Dental Schools. Several schools expressed their interested in attending our Research Conference next year. Our British initiative may just have gone international!
Several of us attended the annual International Association of Dental Research (IADR) meeting in Seoul, Korea in June. We were presenting research, chairing sessions, attending business and Council meetings, and running Workshops and Symposia. We launched the ‘IADR University of Manchester Evidence Based Practice Award’. Applicants for this prize of $1000 were shortlisted and then the winner selected from three who gave an oral presentation. The creation of this prize will help promote our School as the premier site for Evidence synthesis in the world.
Professors Helen Worthington and Jan Clarkson have successfully negotiated a one day Evidence-Based Dentistry Workshop at the start of the IADR meeting for next year. This will be a popular event for delegates and promote our hosting of the Cochrane Oral Health Group. We have strong links with Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) not least because the Director is Professor Jan Clarkson who works with our own School for 20% of her time and is Co-coordinating Editor with Professor Helen Worthington of the Cochrane Oral Health Group that is hosted by our School.
The collaboration of SDCEP and the Cochrane Oral Health has huge potential in developing clinical guidelines for the UK but also global use. No other country in the world has this expertise in dentistry! Manás Dave, Year 4 BDS, has been offered a research placement at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for a month over the summer investigating the biology of myelodysplastic syndromes. Manás undertook a Pathology BSc intercalation between his second and third years.
Professors Helen Worthington and Jan Clarkson were both awarded Honorary Fellowships by the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (FGDP) at the Royal College of Surgeons of England in London for their contribution to Dentistry.
Excellence in teaching
The General Dental Council inspect undergraduate dental programmes every few years to ensure that they are sufficient to allow entry to practice registration. We had an inspection of our BDS programme in 2014 and an inspection of our BSc Oral Health Science Programme in 2015. Both inspection reports were very positive. These events are hugely time consuming and stressful for students and staff but satisfying when a good report is received.
The School of Dentistry at 96% for the BDS programme in the National Student Survey (NSS) was the highest score in the University! We have a large and increasing number of postgraduates undertaking MSc and PhD programmes and have two new programmes starting in September 2016. One is an MSc in Paediatric Dentistry and the other, a distance learning MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care.
Six seminar rooms in the Dental Hospital used for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching were completely refurbished by School of Dentistry earlier in the year. This summer we have refurbished the Student Common Room and Computer Cluster in the Dental Hospital.
The students hosted a Masquerade Ball this year at the Monastery in Gorton! There were around 250 undergraduate BDS and BSc students and staff present for a really wonderful evening. The Graduation Ball in June at the Lowry Hotel was a similarly fantastic evening of celebration.We have developed a Memorandum of Understanding with Boston University for student exchange and research collaboration.
Our football team Athletico Dental had an old boys match at the Armitage Centre in Fallowfield with a charity raffle and cake sale. They have also had an 11-a-side exhibition match with neighbouring rivals Liverpool Dental School Football Club. In September, there is a Manchester Dental School Athletico Dental tour of Valencia and fixture with Valencia Dental School.
Recent BDS graduate Zac Lee-Green has been training hard with the GB rowing team. He came 3rd at the GB trials in February and went to Varese, Italy, to compete in a World Cup regatta where he finished 8th. He will hopefully race at the World Championships in August and after that, rowing training begins for Tokyo 2020.
We attended the AEEDC in Dubai in February. This UAE International Dental Conference is huge and we have had a School of Dentistry stand at the exhibition there for the last few years as a great way to promote our reputation.
We also promoted our School at a large international dental conference in Singapore this year. The British Society of Prosthodontics has held its Annual Conference in Manchester hosted by the Society’s President Julian Satterthwaite. The Conference was held at the Bridgewater Hall with dinner in the Great Hall of Manchester Town Hall and was a great success!
The British Association of Oral Surgeons (BAOS) was also hosted by Manchester and held at the Manchester Town Hall with the Midland Hotel as conference hotel. Our School Stand at the BDA Conference & Exhibition 2016 held at Manchester Convention Complex was well located and very well attended.
The School of Dentistry sat within the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences but this last year has seen the planning for a restructure of the university such that a new Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health came into being in August 2016 and composed on three large Schools.
Dentistry is now administratively within a large School of Medical Sciences. The intention is to make us even more competitive, especially in research competition with the ‘golden triangle’ of Oxford, Cambridge and London.
The Dental School Academic Offices moved into the Coupland 3 Building adjacent to the Dental Hospital a few years ago and the building is currently undergoing a major refurbishment that is on schedule for completion October 2017.
Professor Paul Coulthard