Dr Debbie Reed receives Janet Goodwin Dental Care Professional Award

Dr Debbie Reed has been announced as the 2021 recipient of the inaugural Janet Goodwin Dental Care Professional Award from the Royal College of Surgeons Faculty of General Dental Practice.

This prestigious addition to the Royal College’s Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) Annual Awards recognises the Dental Care Professional (DCP) who has advanced and empowered the role of DCPs, in order to educate and improve oral healthcare for the population. The award is open to all General Dental Council (GDC) registered DCPs, and in 2021 there were 73,662 DCP registered with the General Dental Council. It was due to Dr Reed’s extraordinary commitment to education and her advocacy for DCPs to have the same career opportunities and experiences as dentists that secured her this new accolade.

Dr Debbie Reed is Head of the Department for Digital and Lifelong Learning at the University of Kent, where she established and remains the course director to the Masters in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare (). Debbie has also been leading the development of degree and higher apprenticeships for the University, building links with employers across the UK and various industries. Academically, she has researched, written and contributed on topics such as professionalisation of occupations, credentialing and qualifications, and pedogoised careers. In 2020 Debbie was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Professional Practice Award by the British Dental Nurse Association.

The nomination for the Royal College’s Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) award was submitted by a former Advance Specialist Healthcare (MSc) student, who said: ‘Dr Reed is passionate, knowledgeable and as a tutor, has the ability to take you on this journey with her and have you feel joy about a topic as much as she does. She is patient, finding different ways to explain things and always made time for us, for me, either in person or on the telephone. She motivated and inspired me and encouraged me to be the very best that I could be’.

‘Not only in my studies, but by encouraging me to take on an executive role myself with BSDHT. I never would have believed I could do that if Dr Reed had not instilled in me this ‘can do’ attitude. She is a dental nurse, she tutors the whole DCP team; there have been dental nurses, dental technicians, dental hygienists, and dental therapists that have attained this MSc – she models the idea that if she can, anyone can. She wants DCPs to have the same opportunities and equity of experience that dentists have always enjoyed and has forged a pathway and opened the door for us. She has inspired me, and along with my fellow students, we would not be the people we are today were it not for the exceptional esteem that she evokes.’

The Royal College’s Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) judging panel described Dr Reed as an educator being “accomplished and passionate”, and commented on her ”extraordinary commitment to education” and her “enthusiasm [which] inspires others to want to achieve their very best”.

The award, which honours the late dental professional Janet Goodwin, and is focused on the all-round performance and skills required to become a passionate and committed advocate for DCPs, reflecting the legacy of Janet Goodwin. The award highlights the qualities of leading by example, a commitment to lifelong learning that goes beyond statutory requirement, and a wider commitment to the dental profession.

On responding to the award, Dr Reed said, ‘I am reassured that my work as an educator and my research has practical application, and has provided transformational opportunities to those employed across the whole of the dental sector. I had the honour to have known Janet Goodwin as colleague, she also contributed to my research, which makes receiving a prize in her name so meaningful and such a poignant privilege’.