According to an article published on BBC News on 24th June 2019, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that residents in care homes are missing out on dental care.
This contrasts starkly to care homes that use Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system, where 70% of homes use the software’s oral care tools to support their residents.
CQC inspectors visited 100 homes caring for elderly and disabled people and published findings in CQC’s recent Smiling Matters: Oral Health Care in Care Homes report. The investigation highlighted both a lack of access to dentists and insufficient support provided by care home staff. According to the report, 73% of care plans reviewed only partly covered or did not cover oral health. It was noted in the report that detailed oral health plans could result from the care home using an electronic care management system with electronic evidence of care.
In June 2018, Person Centred Software launched oral care tools for compliance with the NICE guideline NG48 in its Mobile Care Monitoring electronic care planning system to give care providers tools to improve oral care for residents. The tools were developed with guidance from industry dental experts, NHS Wales Community Dental Services and Knowledge Oral Healthcare, to help staff reduce oral care risks and give them the confidence to support their residents.
Andrew Coles, Head of Product Management at Person Centred Software says, “The findings of CQC’s report are shocking but not unexpected. We introduced our oral care tools last year based on industry expertise that oral care needed far more attention. Since launch, 70 per cent of care homes using Mobile Care Monitoring have completed oral health assessments, which shows a high level of compliance. By working closely with our customers and industry experts, we ensure that the tools in Mobile Care Monitoring are up to date and in line with industry best practice. This means that care professionals can provide the best quality of care and support to residents, to maintain their wellbeing in all areas of life.”
Jane Peterson, Founder of Knowledge Oral Healthcare says, “"Poor oral health can influence a person’s mood, dietary intake and general health which staff don’t necessary associate with the mouth. Care homes require more support from the dental profession to help with confidence delivering mouth care and in understanding the importance of plaque removal. Few staff are aware of what poor oral hygiene can pose on the elderly, particularly aspiration pneumonia, which is when bacteria from the mouth gets inhaled to cause an infection in the lungs. It is a potentially life-threatening condition."
Mobile Care Monitoring enables over 1,200 care homes to record Oral Health Assessments, update care plans tailored to people’s needs, and capture highly detailed real-time recordings of oral care. The information feeds automatically into reports and charts, providing evidence of the oral care support to meet the CQC Key Lines of Enquiry and NICE guidelines.
Oral health care features included in Mobile Care Monitoring include planned care for support with oral hygiene and dentures, personal preferences to provide personalised support, recording care notes for denture support and a comprehensive Oral Health Assessment in line with industry best practice. The Oral Health Assessment can also be made mandatory so oral health is not forgotten as part of the admission process and ongoing review.
If you would like to find out more about providing quality oral care in your Care Home, download the Six-Step Guide for Palliative Oral Care and Top Tips on Oral Care for People with Dementia Guide