Barry Cockcroft graduated from Birmingham Dental School in 1973 having started his training in 1969. In his final year he won the Charles Green Prize for minor oral surgery and anaesthesia.
He went on to work in NHS general practice for 27 years where he pioneered the development of a first wave of pilot Personal Dental Services, based on capitation as a means of remuneration in NHS general practice.
In 2002 Barry became Deputy Chief Dental Officer (England) and in July 2006 he was appointed to Chief Dental Officer and was awarded a CBE in the 2010 New Year Honours.
In 2015, after leaving the post at the Department of Health, Dr Cockcroft became a non-executive director at UK corporate dental provider 'MyDentist’, one of the largest providers of NHS and private dentistry in the country.
We interviewed Barry about his experiences at Birmingham for our first edition of Dental Roots in 2010. He has many happy memories of his student days, including watching the cricket at Edgbaston, and attending a School sports away day at Sheffield University. In 2008 he attended the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Birmingham Dental Hospital. ‘The city has changed enormously since my day,’ he says. ‘My son graduated from Birmingham in mechanical engineering five years ago and it has been fascinating to see the city through his eyes.
‘The important thing about going to university is realising you are having the time of your life,’ he explains. ‘I certainly felt I did at Birmingham. When I arrived for interview I was very impressed by the people and the place. I felt it was the right place to be’.
‘One thing Birmingham did fantastically well was teaching in dental public health. I suspect we had more exposure to epidemiology and the value of dental public health because Birmingham was at the forefront of fluoridation.’