Oral Health in Care Homes

A new report from the CQC has found that there needs to be more of a focus on oral health in care homes. Read more from Healthwatch England about the perspective from the Healthwatch network.
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More Information

A new report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlights the need for better support for residents in care homes and more training for staff to help people look after their oral health.

Their findings reflect what people have been telling Healthwatch England,  including the problems people face in accessing dentists.

What the CQC Found:

  • People who live in care homes do not always get the support they need to maintain good oral health. 
  • 52% of care homes have no policy in place to support resident’s oral health. This could mean care home staff are not aware of the need to support people with daily mouth care, like brushing their teeth.
  • Many residents are not able to access oral health products like toothbrushes as care homes would not provide them, as they are seen as a cosmetic product, not a health care one.
  • One third of care homes said they had had difficulty accessing routine NHS dentistry services. Some managers reported that domiciliary dentists refused to visit care homes.

Their Recommendations

  • More oral health care training for care workers
  • A national campaign to raise awareness of good practice/NICE guidance
  • For CQC inspectors to work with local Healthwatch to identify and understand the issue in their area

Find out more

Read this for Healthwatch England's response to this report

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