He previously held the posts of acting chief dental officer and deputy chief dental officer, having joined the Department of Health in November 2002.
He was made CDO in June 2006, just after the ‘new’ contract was introduced.
He has courted controversy among the profession regarding poor NHS dental access figures.
More recently, he was forced to commission the Steele report, an independent review lead by Professor Jimmy Steele into the ongoing problems surrounding access to NHS dentistry. The review was commissioned following widespread criticism of the new contract from the House of Commons Health Select Committee.
He is now involved in the government’s attempt to carry out the recommendations in that report.
Barry Cockcroft is married with three children and worked in NHS general practice for 27 years before joining the Department of Health.