"Ill-judged and inappropriate"

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Following England's Chief Dental Officer's "ill-judged" comments, BDA says she should be "very careful in future"

The British Dental Association (BDA) has responded to comments on patient recall from England’s Chief Dental Officer (CDO), Sara Hurley at the NHS England Expo event in Manchester.

BDA chair Mick Armstrong said, "The CDO for England’s comparison of dental professionals with car mechanics was ill-judged and inappropriate.

“Certainly recall intervals will differ depending on a patient’s individual oral health, but the CDO needs to be very careful in future with her choice of words, so as not to give the impression that patients cannot trust the advice of their dental professionals.

“Oral health is improving with the considerable efforts of dentists’ continual and regular reinforcement of vital oral health measures and messages. Colleagues continue to provide an excellent, committed service, despite a 25% real terms cut in NHS fees over the last decade – which means a huge drop in the money available to them for reinvestment in their practices.

“We are already the most efficient, most trusted and compliant of health care sectors, and we do not expect to see a CDO pointing an accusing finger at dentists for honest endeavours.”