BSDHT Honorary Vice President awarded British Empire Medal (BEM)

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 Nursing journal.

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.


‘It's easy to “talk the talk”, but the key is making things happen. Fiona does this – 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.’

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