E: support@e-carehub.co.uk

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Oral Health in Care Homes Policy

{{org_field_name}} recognises that good dental health is vital for the wellbeing of people using services and that a healthy mouth and teeth are important for speaking, chewing and for general overall health.

The home aspires to providing high-quality oral healthcare based upon individual people using services’ needs and as recorded in an individual care plan for each person. Each plan will be determined by a full needs assessment which will identify any mouth care needs. The plan will be drawn up in partnership between the home and the person using services, and any relatives or carers that the person wants involved.

{{org_field_name}} acknowledges the challenges post Covid-19 pandemic to primary dental care provision and continues to support oral health care for people using services as well as access to dental services. For those receiving domiciliary care visits from dentists, this area of dentistry has also been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Guidance

{{org_field_name}} complies fully with recognised evidence-based guidelines on the provision of oral healthcare in residential adult social care.

Oral care in residential care is addressed in a guideline by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), NG48: Oral Health for Adults in Care Homes, published in July 2016. The NICE guideline states that care home policies on oral health should set out plans and actions to promote and protect people using services’ oral health.

Policy

In {{org_field_name}}, the following applies.

Oral care post Covid-19 pandemic

{{org_field_name}} is aware post Covid-19 pandemic, services continue to be affected with regards to delivery of oral healthcare, particularly in the availability of dentistry services. Post pandemic, issues which arose from appropriate infection prevention and control measures, have seen worsening of some people using services oral health and increased incidence of problems.

{{org_field_name}} acknowledges the CQC’s statement that access to NHS dental care was an ongoing issue pre-pandemic, and that problems were compounded by Covid-19. It also recognises the General Dental Council position that normal dental services are likely to take time to recover and will continue to be adversely affected for some time, particularly for older and more vulnerable people who require greater protection.

{{org_field_name}} believes that the oral health of people using services remains of utmost importance, both during and post pandemic as it was before. Oral care will therefore continue to be given the highest priority so that people using services enjoy good oral hygiene and remain free from dental pain and discomfort.

Training

Care staff working for {{org_field_name}} should be introduced to this policy during their induction. The need for effective daily oral care should be included within both induction and ongoing care staff training programmes.

{{org_field_name}} supports a system of staff appraisal whereby all staff have an annual performance review. During this review, the member of staff will be expected to identify with their reviewer any training requirements and needs they might have relating to providing oral healthcare. These will be recorded in a training plan.

In {{org_field_name}}, the following applies.

This care service is aware CQC priority areas for 2022 included oral health and strives to ensure staff access training to support oral health, oral health care plans and arrangements for access to dental care and emergency dental treatment are in place for people using services. It will also continue to raise awareness of NICE oral health guidelines and identify those vulnerable to oral health issues.

Online, video and remote contacts may continue to be used where clinically necessary to provide consultations and support. Oral health promotion will continue to be prioritised by the home. {{org_field_name}} recognises that such prevention programmes remain important while routine dental check-ups and hygiene visits remain disrupted, in some areas.

{{org_field_name}} will comply fully with relevant guidance, including Covid-19 Supplement to the Infection Prevention and Control Resource for Adult Social Care (updated December 2022), available on the GOV.UK website


Responsible Person: {{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

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