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NHS England appoints chief dental officer

NHS England appoints chief dental officer
By Beth Gault
24 April 2024

Jason Wong MBE has been appointed as chief dental officer for England by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care.

He takes over from Sara Hurley who stepped down from the role in June 2023. Since then, Mr Wong has held the role of interim chief dental officer. Prior to that, he was deputy chief dental officer since June 2020.

Mr Wong formerly held the position of secretary for Lincolnshire Local Dental committee for 16 years and was awarded an MBE for services to dentistry and oral health in 2020.

He will work in partnership with local and regional teams across the country to deliver improved outcomes for patients, and will provide system-wide professional and clinical leadership through setting strategic vision, according to NHS England. He will also retain a day in clinical practice in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

Mr Wong said: ‘I’m very proud to be appointed to the role of chief dental officer for England. It’s a challenging time for NHS dentistry and I know there is more to do to recover and improve services for patients. 

‘I look forward to working with colleagues across the system to support them to recover and improve, and to lead the transformation of NHS dental services.’

It comes after a recovery plan was published for dentistry earlier this year, which said up to 2.5 million additional appointments could be opened up over the next 12 months.

However, almost no dentists believe that the dental recovery plan will enable all patients who need NHS care to access it, according to the British Dental Association (BDA).

It chair, Eddie Crouch, told Healthcare Leader in March that the sector would still have ‘significant problems going forward’.

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