JEAN BAILEY 1928 – 27 January 2017

President 1980-1982  

Patricia Macpherson 

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Jean Bailey, aged 88. 

Jean was educated in Derby and worked as a dental nurse with the County Council. On qualification, she was appointed as a dental hygienist with Bristol City Council Health Department. At that time, only local authorities and hospitals were allowed to employ hygienists. When this restriction was lifted, she worked at private practices in Bristol, Backwell and Yatton.

A remarkable woman whose contribution to the profession of dental hygiene and to BDHA (former name of BSDHT) was outstanding, Jean was instrumental in transforming an informal group of dental hygienists into the professional and well-respected body that BSDHT is today. Her involvement in writing the first BDHA Constitution gave us the required professionalism and she was held in high regard throughout the wider dental profession.

Past President Rosemarie Khan recalls: “Jean was one of the first civilian hygienists to qualify, training during the pilot scheme at the Eastman. I consider her to be a pioneer. She was a perfect lady, kind and courteous to everyone she met and certainly raised the profile of dental hygienists.”

Former Honorary Secretary Julia Hill (Page) says: “Jean was a totally professional and caring person as well as an inspiring colleague with a true sense of fun. I attended a meeting in Bristol to close the regional group (circa 1975). Those attending did not want to see this happen. Jean had brought a bottle of sherry to help refresh us! We refreshed so well that the South Wales and South West Regional Group was established that day! Jean's steady hand and immense experience, helped to guide and support me, and many of my colleagues, to national posts and responsibilities over many years. I have wonderful memories of Jean and feel privileged to have known her, having had the good fortune to spend many happy hours with her at BDHA conferences and meetings.”

Ursula Cross (Miles) reflects: “She was such a lovely lady. I was Honorary Secretary when Jean was President and feel she made a tremendous contribution to the dental hygienists’ cause.”

Past President Shelagh Lockyer said: “When I took over at Bristol Dental Hospital, Jean came in each year to talk to the students about the new career they were embarking on and the merits of joining BDHA, of which she was so proud, and had been a major influence in the beginning, continuing to do so all her life. I remember her telling how she went to the Eastman for her interview wearing white gloves, hat and handbag. A remarkable woman!”

Past Honorary Secretary, Sharon Allen reminisces: “As a student, Jean inspired me to join BDHA when she visited the Royal Dental Hospital. I shall always think of her fondly.”

In a world where self-advancement is often the norm, it is good to reflect that Jean’s focus was primarily on the development of our profession and BSDHT. This was recognised by her becoming the first recipient of our prestigious Dr Gerald Leatherman Award in 1994. She knew Dr Leatherman well, always respected his opinions and was honoured to receive the award in his name. BSDHT bestowed Honorary Membership upon her in 2006.

We also have Jean to thank for introducing Ann Craddock to BSDHT. She was our much-respected Administrator for thirty years.

Ann’s lasting memory of Jean is her kindness: “Jean’s long-term encouragement and support was a major factor in my near 40 year involvement with BDHA/BSDHT on a regional and national level and for that I will always be grateful. Despite her stately appearance, elegantly dressed in a ‘two-piece’ outfit, Jean was always approachable, willing to listen and give practical advice. A stickler for protocol, it was comforting to know that I could ask Jean for any advice on procedure at the AGM when I was Honorary Secretary.”

BSDHT has lost one of its most influential members. We extend our deepest sympathy to husband John, son Nicholas and family.


There are currently no comments

Please log in to leave comments

If you are not yet a member you can register here: Member Registration