CQC Smiling Matters: Oral Health in Care Homes

At the beginning of July, I attended a round table discussion about the eagerly anticipated CQC report: Smiling Matters...

All the stakeholders at the round table discussion

You guys asked me for a summary of the findings of report so here you go! This report was something I had been waiting for as a clinician who regularly sees patients from care homes, whether they be older people or those with learning disabilities. 

The conclusions of the report highlighted the need to prioritise oral health in this vulnerable population of people and recommends the following:

  1. People who use these services, their families and carers need to be made more aware of the importance of oral care
  2. Care home services need to make awareness and implementation of the NICE guideline 'Oral health for adults in care homes
  3. Care home staff need better training in oral care
  4. The dental profession needs improved guidance on how to treat people in care homes
  5. Dental provision and commissioning needs to improve to meet the needs of the people in care homes
  6. NICE guideline NG48 needs to be used more in regulatory and commissioning assessments 

For some of you who regularly see patients who live in care homes (or who are cared at home) I am sure none of these conclusions are groundbreaking news for you. What is important is this report now gets this issue of the public platform with backing from an organisation with clout such as the CQC. But we need to take action and use this report at the grassroots making changes in our local areas!

To read my opinion piece on the report and the round-table discussion see my blog on the BDA

How can you use this report to make changes in the area you work? Any ideas out there to make meaningful change? Let me know in the comments below!

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