WENDY LEECH MBE EDH, PRESIDENT 1970-1976

Wendy sadly passed away on 14 December 2019. Her daughter, Rosalind Malins, invites her mother’s friends and colleagues to the funeral which will be held on 7th January at 12.30pm in St Cosmas & St Damian's Church, Keymer Road, Keymer, Hassocks BN6 8QL and to the Greyhound pub (opposite the church) afterwards.

 

Rosalind would be delighted to greet you personally and can be contacted via the BSDHT office in Rugby.

 

 

 

Wendy was on one of the first civilian training courses at the Eastman Dental Hospital and qualified in 1953. At that time dental hygienists could only work in the public dental service. This did not change until the 1957 Dentists Act allowed dental hygienists to work in general practice.

 

Wendy’s involvement with BDHA began when she worked with Vera Creaton and they ran the Association from the Headquarters at the Eastman Dental Hospital. She held various BDHA posts – Honorary Treasurer for 7 years, Honorary Secretary for 3 years and President for 6 years. In total, she was on the Committee/Council of the Association from 1954-1976. She was appointed a member of the Ancillary Dental Workers Committee (later called the Dental Auxiliaries Committee) of the GDC from 1957-1983.

 

Following changes to the Articles and Bylaws of the Association in 1969, the position of Chair now became President and was also the Chief Executive and Administrator, as well as the Association’s principal representative. During her Presidency Wendy was active in seeking to develop services for members and improving and expanding our professional life, particularly in the field of further education. Whilst endeavouring to change the attitude of the dental profession towards dental hygienists, she forged cordial relationships with dental and other relevant professional groups. One of Wendy’s major achievements was the provision, for dental hygienists, of Professional Risks Insurance on a national basis by the Medical Protection Society in 1971. This covered the costs of defending disciplinary cases with the GDC.

 

One of Wendy’s daughters – Rosalind Malins - told me that one thing her mother was most proud of during her Presidency was establishing international relations. For the first time BDHA was represented internationally when Wendy presented a paper on ‘Dental Hygiene in the United Kingdom’ in Switzerland, at an American Dental Hygienists’ Association meeting. She also went to meetings in Sweden, Japan and Canada. In addition, Wendy collaborated with Wilma Motley of the United States in formulating the draft constitution of an International body for dental hygienists, which became the basis for the International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH).

 

During her term of office, membership of BDHA increased to 657 in 1976. In recognition of her long and valuable contribution to BDHA and of her international work, Wendy was awarded the MBE in 1974 and made an Honorary Member of our Association in 1977.

 

Patricia Macpherson

 




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