BDA calls for ‘dental revolution’ in care homes

BDA calls for ‘dental revolution’ in care homes

The BDA has welcomed a new report from the CQC on the parlous state of plans, policies and provision for oral health in care homes; publishing its own analysis of official figures indicating funding is currently supporting access for as little as one in a hundred of those who, due to limited mobility, may require access to domiciliary services. They said that nothing short of a revolution in the approach to dentistry in residential homes is needed.

Based on findings from 100 care homes, the CQC found that 52% did not even have an oral health plan for residents and 47% of staff never receiving training specific to dental care. 73% of care plans only partly covered or did not cover oral health at all, with homes specialising in dementia less likely to do so.  

The CQC reports that one of the main challenge in providing access to NHS services was lack of domiciliary care provision. Freedom of Information requests by the BDA suggest levels of commissioning are low and falling, equivalent to providing coverage to under 1.3% of the population whose activity is significantly limited by disability or ill health.

The BDA has backed CQC calls for swift implementation of NICE guidelines among care home providers, and for comprehensive training for staff. The BDA has stressed that appropriate commissioning, underpinned by robust needs assessment is now key to ensure all those most in need of NHS care can receive it, in the right place and at the right time. In light of the CQC findings this would need to cover mainstream, urgent and domiciliary care.
The NHS Long Term plan has committed government to adopt an ’ageing well’ model but has offered scant detail on the place of oral health.  Charlotte Waite, Chair of the BDA’s England Community Dental Services Committee said: “This welcome report shines a light on services that are failing some of the most vulnerable in our society. There are residents left unable to eat, drink and communicate, as an underfunded and overstretched NHS struggles to provide the care they need.

“We require nothing short of a revolution in the approach to dentistry in residential homes. Oral health can no longer remain the missing piece when it comes to care planning and budgets.”

Tony Smith
carers training for oral health
Following today's CQC report, which can't be news to anyone on this blog, this may be of benefit.
The link below is to one of the 3 pages for carers. The first video applies to free course with certification to anyone who works in a care home. But applies to anyone looking after an elderly relative.
The link is also available on the free teet4life oral health App.
I email the details above the majority of my patients, as you do not know if they are carers themselves. I do know my patients who work in care homes, and hospital nurses have little if any training in oral health. While we wait in eager anticipation of the implementation of some revolutionary training scheme, this is the best MOOC I have found so far, and this is the direct link on the Skills platform site.


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