Dental nurse Fiona Ellwood recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List
Dental nurse Fiona Ellwood has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Fiona is the patron and executive director of the Society of British Dental Nurses (SBDN) and also chairs the National Oral Health Group. She was lately senior lecturer and external examiner at the University of Chester.
She acts as a key opinion leader and is an advisor for oral health education and preventative programs across the dental arena, as well as infection control and professional practice. She is a former President of BADN, an examiner for NEBDN and writes prolifically as an editorial board member for Dental Nursingjournal.
Welcoming the news, Emma Riley, chair of the SBDN, said: ‘We at the SBDN cannot express how proud we are of Fiona and her well-deserved award and recognition of the tireless work she does – not just for dental nursing but for dentistry as a whole.
‘When I heard the news, I thought of a quote from Walt Disney that sums up Fiona perfectly – “The way to get started is to stop talking and begin doing”. It's easy to talk the talk but the key is making things happen. Fiona does make things happen – from the student dental nurse starting on their journey within dentistry to the dental nurse with many years experience, she has given them all a louder voice within the dental community.’
She added: ‘I also passionately believe she has improved patient care with her endless work around health promotion. If I know Fiona, she will feel this award is for all dental nurses not just one person, but it also demonstrates how much she is respected and valued within dentistry and I for one am proud to call her my colleague, mentor and friend’.
Fiona is a trained mentor and has fostered and developed a mentoring culture in a number of areas both within and outside of dentistry.
Her mentoring work has been far reaching and includes supporting a scheme to help dental colleagues when working with underperforming dentists.
Her final dissertation for her M.Ed looked very closely at the concept of leadership as a potential mechanism of change, which has given her greater insight to the ever-changing world of health, education and dentistry.
This has also helped her in her role as an External Examiner for the University College of Cork and the University West of Scotland and as a GDC Quality Assurance Education Associate.
She recently completed an MSc PG Cert in Public Health and has enrolled on her PhD programme looking closer at education. Fiona is the QA & Enhancement Lead at Leamington Spa Orthodontics Centre and an honorary non-clinical lecturer at University of Warwick and a subject expert at the University of Bangor. Fiona is also a member of the Human Factors Advisory Board.
She is the founder of Dental Mentoring Network and a member of Dental Mentors UK. She has received an honorary Fellowship from the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (UK) (the first DCP to do so), a Fellow of the Faculty of Dental Trainers at the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh and Fellow of Institute of Administrators and Managers. More recently she became a member of the Interim Education Advisors Board RCS Edinburgh and a trustee of Dentaid, as well as becoming the vice President of British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT). Fiona is also part of the East Midlands LDN and the gerodontology MCN group.
Fiona said: ‘I am honoured to be included in the Queen’s 2019 Birthday Honours list. My aspirations for dental nursing has always been to lay the foundations so others can have choices, make informed decisions and doors can be opened.
‘The Society is taking my visions forward and for that I am eternally grateful, so today I celebrate dental nursing on a different level.’
Also awarded a BEM was head nurse and lead oral health educator with Teeth Team, Julie Fountain. She is a long-standing trustee and programme co-ordinator who takes the message of dental health to some of the most deprived children in the UK. She has over 22 years’ experience within the dental profession and for the past 9 years has been instrumental in developing the Teeth Team programme.
She feels that, after having gone into a school initially and found a number of children who were reluctant to engage, including some who can’t even hold a toothbrush correctly, the magic moment comes when they return to do the dental assessment and ask the children if they’re enjoying brushing their teeth. They unfailingly say: ‘Oh, we love it because it makes us smile!’ – and that, says Julie, is what makes their work worthwhile. ‘We are very proud that we’re making a little bit of a difference to their lives.’
Richard Welbury, professor of paediatric dentistry at the University of Central Lancashire and Professor Jason Leitch have also been appointed CBEs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
• For more about the Society of British Dental Nurses, please visit https://sbdn.org.uk
Author: Julie Bissett