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Dr Derek Maguire awarded OBE for services to Dentistry and COVID-19 response

Photo of Dr Derek Maguire
Dr Derek Maguire

Dr Derek Maguire, who was instrumental in the creation of the Urgent Dental Care Centres at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday honours list for services to Dentistry and the COVID-19 response.

“I didn’t see this award coming at all,” said the 56-year-old, father of four and husband of Muriel.

“I was surprised to receive it and I was honoured and humbled to do so.

“I am very proud of how my team here stepped up to support patients and each other during the pandemic.”

Born and raised in Dungannon, he has worked in General Dental Practice for over 30 years, having qualified from Queen’s University Belfast in 1987.

His dental group includes eleven separate practices who provide dental services to over 63,000 registered Health Service patients across Northern Ireland.  His group has been accredited with Investors in People at Gold Level and ranked first in the UK in their Healthcare sector.

Dr Maguire is a Fellow of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (Royal College of Surgeons of England), a Fellow of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow), a Fellow of Faculty of Dental Trainers (Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh), and a Fellow of the International College of Dentists.

He is a Non- Executive Board Member with the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency, has previously been Chairman of Dental Committee with the Business Services Organisation, is an Executive Committee Member with the Faculty of Dental Trainers, and acts as a Facilitator and Assessor for the Faculty of General Dental Practice.  On multiple occasions he has been a Vocational Trainer, General Practice Trainer, and more recently a Dental Foundation Trainer.

He has been a Dental Adviser to the Health and Social Care Board for over nine years and it was in this capacity that he supported efforts to create Urgent Dental Care Centres at the height of the pandemic.

Dental practices are particularly impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Most dental procedures are aerosol-generating, which means they release airborne particles which can result in potential spread of infection.

Urgent Dental Care Centres (UDCC) were established at the onset of the pandemic to see and treat patients with urgent dental care needs.

“Dentistry is affected more than most by COVID-19. We had no script for how to deal with it and it took a monumental effort by the entire dental community to find a way to look after patients while protecting colleagues,” added Dr Maguire.

“Over a period of little over a week at the end of March, with support from colleagues in the Community Dental Services, we established 5 UDCCs on Trust Sites and set up a triage system through Dalriada Urgent Care to ensure that patients were seen in a timely manner.

“In my 33 years in dentistry, this collaboration between General Dental Services and the Community Dental Service has been one of the most outstanding achievements. Without doubt, it is one of the finest examples of how dentistry can provide services for all sectors of the population, whilst at the same time ensuring staff safety – and I am extremely proud to have played a small part in it.

“There is much work still to be done as the pandemic is far from over, but I am confident the profession will once again use their resourcefulness with whatever resources they have at their disposal.”