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Nish at 10: Stortford dentist attends Downing Street do for NHS' 70th birthday

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Nishma Patel poses outside No 10 Downing Street
Nishma Patel poses outside No 10 Downing Street

A Bishop's Stortford dental surgeon got the chance to champion her industry at 10 Downing Street when she was invited to a special event marking the NHS's 70th anniversary.

Nishma Patel, who has worked at The Dentist on South Street for six years, attended the reception for NHS workers hosted by Prime Minister Theresa May last Wednesday (July 4).

She got to talk to the PM as well as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens.

Nishma has also been working for chief dental officer (CDO) Sara Hurley two days a week in a national policy advisory role since September, looking at how the NHS dental contract will be delivered in the future.

In that role she has completed work on a national clinical dental fellow scheme, and it was that which led to Hurley nominating her for the trip to No 10.

Nishma, who moved to Stortford from Dulwich six years ago and is originally from Leicester, also does performance management work for NHS England.

She went to Downing Street with four members of the CDO team – two of whom were fellow dentists – and Mrs May praised them on their smiles.

“It was brilliant, it was such a nice reception,” said 38-year-old Nishma.

“I got to meet Theresa May and shook her hand. I told her she’s an inspiration to women in leadership roles. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with her views, but I think having a woman as Prime Minister is inspirational.

“It was really good to be championing dentistry and oral health. The NHS 70 needs to be celebrated and I was being such a cheerleader for dentistry at Downing Street as well.”

It has been a busy time for Nishma. Not only has she had an article on child oral health published in the Mail on Sunday, she was also given the chance to take over the NHS Twitter account for a week and give advice and information to followers.

Her husband, Raj Sharma, also works at The Dentist. Their children, Jai-Sai, 8, and Cassie-Riva, 5, attend Manor Fields Primary School

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