Barry qualified from Birmingham Dental School in 1973, and after one year working in hospital, he pursued a career in general dental practice where he spent over 25 years.
He joined his local LDC in 1980 and represented Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull on the General Dental Services Committee of the BDA from 1990, until he joined the Department of Health (DOH) in 2002. At the time of his move to the DOH, he was the vice chairman of the General Dental Services Committee and wrote the ‘how NHS dental services should be delivered’ section of the Options for Change Policy document.
Barry joined the DOH initially as Deputy Chief Dental Officer and was appointed CDO in 2006. During this time, he provided clinical and professional advice to NHS England, the Department of Health and Health Education England.
He has contributed significantly to the development of dental care in the UK. He was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours List of 2010. He has been awarded honorary fellowships by the University of Central Lancashire, the Faculty of Dental Surgery in England and the Faculty of General Dental Practice. In 2013, he was also awarded an honorary doctorate in dental surgery by the University of Plymouth.