College ambassadors are drawn from different backgrounds and walks of life. They support engagement of the college in society, and promote its influence in the interests of patients, building trust and confidence in the College and dental healthcare professionals. Ambassadors help the college to ensure that dentistry is properly recognised for its importance as an integral element of general healthcare and wellbeing. Ambassadors also support the college’s mission to promote preventatively orientated, minimum interventive, patient-centred, longitudinal care.
More ambassadors will be appointed in the coming months as the college works towards its historic, formal launch, rescheduled for early 2021, Covid restrictions permitting.
Chair of the college’s board of trustees, Professor Nairn Wilson, said, “The board of trustees of the college is delighted to further develop the college ambassador scheme with the appointment of Professors Jason Leitch and Jacky Hayden, both of whom have a wealth of experience and expertise. The college greatly looks forward to working with its new ambassadors in realising its immediate and longer-term goals, including reaching out to all stakeholders, including patients and other healthcare professions, to enhance the effectiveness, standing and status of dentistry.”
Commenting on his appointment, Jason Leitch said, “It is a huge honour to be invited to be an ambassador for the College of General Dentistry. As national clinical director of the Scottish government, the advancement of quality in all areas of healthcare is close to my heart. It is an exciting time for dentistry, and I am delighted to contribute to the initiative to form the college.”
Jacky Hayden said, “I am honoured to accept the invitation to be an ambassador for the College of General Dentistry. General dentistry has led the way in postgraduate dental education, and it is a tribute to all involved that the aspiration for an independent college is now being realised. Our healthcare system needs generalists and the special skills that they bring in promoting good health and preventing disease. Congratulations to all involved.”
Jason has worked for the Scottish government since 2007. In January 2015, he was appointed as the national clinical director in the health and social care directorate. He is a Scottish government director and a member of the health and social care management board. He is one of the senior team responsible for the NHS in Scotland, an honorary professor at the University of Dundee, and the 2011 UK clinician of the year.
He is a senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and a 2005-06 quality improvement fellow at IHI, in Boston, sponsored by the Health Foundation.
Jason is also a trustee of the UK wing of the Indian Rural Evangelical Fellowship which runs orphanages in southeast India. He has a doctorate from the University of Glasgow, an MPH from Harvard and is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He is also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Jason was appointed to NHS England review group led by Don Berwick looking into the patient safety elements of the Francis Inquiry.
Jacky Hayden is president of the Academy of Medical Educators, a non-executive director and senior independent director at University Hospitals Plymouth, a member of the Medical Tribunal Service Committee and the suitable person for the MPTS. She is also an associate for the General Medical Council and has led quality assurance visits to most parts of the United Kingdom.
Jacky’s clinical background is in general medical practice – she was a partner in Bury, Greater Manchester for thirty years and she was a long-standing member of the Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners. She has always been an advocate of high-quality medical education and after experience as a trainer and then course organiser she was appointed as regional adviser in general practice (1991-1996).
In 1997, she was appointed postgraduate dean for the University of Manchester and the north western region, a position she held for almost 20 years. She was the first general practitioner to be appointed as a regional postgraduate dean and she led the merger of the two former deaneries in the north west. She has chaired and served on many national committees and working groups including chair of the Committee of English Deans. She was awarded honorary fellowship of the Academy of Medical Educators in 2011.
Following her retirement as postgraduate dean in 2016, she worked for the University of Nicosia Cyprus to establish a postgraduate clinical training programme in Cyprus. Jacky has also championed medical leadership throughout her career; she is a council member of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management and was awarded foundation senior fellowship of FMLM in 2018. Jacky has been awarded three honorary doctorates at St George’s University of London, Lancaster University and Edge Hill University, and honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. In 2013 she was awarded the CBE for services to medical education.