Former QEGS Sixth Form pupil Vanita Brookes (nee Hajela) has been awarded an MBE for her services to the oral health of people with disabilities.

Vanita studied at QEGS Sixth Form from 1977 to 1980, then she qualified as a dental surgeon at the University of Liverpool in 1984. Following House Officer posts at Liverpool Dental Hospital and the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital (Alder Hey) she was appointed as Senior Dental Officer Special Care Dentistry (SCD) in Preston, Chorley and West Lancashire.  In this role she was asked to establish a new service dedicated to providing oral care for patients with a variety of disabilities and impairments, such as those with severe learning difficulties and complex medical problems.

Vanita gained a Diploma in Dental Public Health from the Royal College of Surgeons England (RCS Eng) and completed an MSc at the University of Manchester in 1998 and in 2003, Vanita was appointed as an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire.

In 2007 Vanita was appointed as Consultant in Special Care Dentistry (SCD) at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where she worked until her recent retirement.

Vanita has been instrumental in advancing Special Care Dentistry nationally.

On receiving an MBE in the Kings Birthday Honours in 2023 Vanita said

 I am truly humbled to receive this honour. It is, however, in recognition of all the patients and their families that I have had the privilege to provide care to over my career. I am truly grateful for their support and encouragement. “

Although many years ago, I still have happy memories of my years at QEGS. My time there showed me the importance of hard work, commitment and resilience and taught me values that have stood me in good stead during my career.