Professor Jimmy Steele CBE dies

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Greatly respected and honoured Professor Jimmy Steele CBE has died. The BDA's Chief Executive Peter Ward reponds to the sad news

BDA Chief Executive Peter Ward said: “It is with great sadness we report the untimely passing of Professor Jimmy Steele CBE of Newcastle University.

“Jimmy was a man of enormous intellect and of great humanity. For a man of such insight and wisdom it was remarkable that he never lost touch with the grass roots of his profession. A dentist's dentist, he was charged with reviewing the way NHS primary care dentistry is delivered in England, and diligently researched the matter and added his own insight to produce his eponymous report. That report was the foundation for contractual reform, and its content and approach was widely supported by the profession as representing the dentistry they wanted to do. It is yet to be seen whether his fundamental principles will be followed in future reforms.

“As an educator and academic the quality and quantity of Jimmy’s research and his passion for his students marked him out as exceptional. His joy of life and his wicked sense of humour made him great fun to be with, and his company was sought by students and colleagues alike. His passing will leave a void in the UK dental profession. It is no consolation but slight solace that the BDA was at least able to celebrate Jimmy’s contribution to his profession with the award of the John Tomes Medal at a special celebration in 2016.

“Our heartfelt thoughts are with Jimmy’s family at this tragic time.”

Professor Steele died at the age of 55. He leaves behind a wife and two children. He passed away peacefully and his funeral will be held on the 24th November. His family ask that well-wishers send no flowers but instead make donations to the Trussell Trust a charity working towards ending poverty and hunger in the UK.

To read about how Professor Steele was honoured by the BDA visit HERE.

Picture caption: Dr Mick Armstrong presents Professor Steele (right) with the John Tomes Medal in happier times