Dr. Anna Ireland has been named the dental public health lead at Public Health England (PHE) as the agency prepares to move its health improvement functions to the new Office for Health Promotion at the Department of Social Care by the fall.
As lead, Ireland will be responsible for supporting government plans to promote water fluoridation for dental health. She also will provide expertise for an England-wide supervised toothbrushing program for young children.
The Office for Health Promotion will continue to have an overarching role in ensuring there are sufficient dental public health trainees and trainees and consultants to support water fluoridation promotion and the supervised toothbrushing program.
After starting off in general practice, Ireland worked as both a local commissioner of dental public health and more recently as part of the national team at PHE. She also served as chair of the British Dental Association’s (BDA) Dental Public Health Committee from 2015 to 2019.
“Our congratulations to Anna, who arrives in a post at a crucial for dental public health,” said Dr. Robert Witton, chair of the BDA Dental Public Health Committee.
“We know the issues in her inbox are eye-watering, with access to services slashed, widening health inequality, and the need to ensure a smooth transition to new public structures at both national and local levels,” said Witton.
“The challenges ahead are stark, but we are committed to work with her to meet them head on,” Witton said.