Sara Hurley BDS(UBrist) MFGDP(UK) MSc(UCL) MA(KCL) has been announced by NHS England as the new chief dental officer.
Sara will replace the outgoing Barry Cockcroft, who retired in February 2015 after 39 years in the NHS, and will serve as principal dental adviser and the professional head of dental staff in England.
‘I am delighted and honoured to be taking up this new challenge as an integral member of the Medical Directorate at NHS England,’ Sara said.
‘The role of chief dental officer remains a crucial link between decision-makers, patients and the wide range of front line providers that enable dental health.
‘I am determined to use this position to articulate the dental health needs of our patients and, working collaboratively across the breadth of the dental healthcare profession, present directly to ministers and NHS leaders our fresh ideas; ideas that will contribute to achieving our shared goals of quality health outcomes and better oral health for all.’
Sara Hurley qualified from the University of Bristol Dental School in 1988.
Commissioned into the Royal Army Dental Corps, she has continued to broaden her clinical dentistry portfolio gaining membership of General Dental Practitioners (UK) in 2003, a masters in dental public health at University College London 2004, and a King’s College MA in defence studies 2007.
Sara joins NHS England from the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine where she has worked hand in hand with the NHS in assuring access to and quality of healthcare for injured personnel.
Concurrent with her Royal Centre for Defence Medicine responsibilities, Sara has been the chief dental officer for the army.
In recognition of her commitment to and contribution to improving the oral health of the army she was appointed as a Queen’s honorary dental surgeon in September 2014.
As a senior member of the Medical Directorate, Sara will work in partnership with other directorates, domain leads and other clinical leaders in regional and local area teams to improve outcomes for patients, and champion the role of dentists and dentistry within the health system.