Champion of dentists gets teeth into MBE

Eric Rooney.
Eric Rooney.

A top dental consultant from Carnforth says he is honoured to have been recognised for his work in dentistry.

Eric Rooney MBE is the deputy chief dental officer for NHS England and had worked at the forefront of developing dental policy throughout the country.

Mr Rooney qualified as a dentist in 1983 in Dundee. He worked in clinical practice and also held a number of roles in NHS trusts and health authorities including clinical director, medical director and dental public health lead, moving to Lancashire and Cumbria in 2002. He worked initially in dental policy through the British Dental Association in the 1990s and since 2002 directly with the Department of Health for England, where he led negotiations for a new national contract for salaried dentists. In 2008/9 he co-authored NHS Dental Services in England, an independent review setting out a vision for the future of NHS primary dental care.

In 2013 he was elected chair of the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry, Consultants Group and is an invited board member of the faculty of dental surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He was appointed deputy chief dental officer for NHS England in November 2015, combining the role with his post of consultant in dental public health in In Lancashire and Cumbria.

He has championed the Smile4Life programme in partnership with local authorities.

Mr Rooney, who received his MBE in the New Year’s Queen Honours List, said: “I am naturally honoured to been recognised for my services to dentistry, but dentistry is a team activity and I pay tribute to all those who have helped me develop services and improve care for patients throughout my career.”