Dental Services: Care Homes

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 4th July 2019.

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Photo of Andrea Jenkyns Andrea Jenkyns Conservative, Morley and Outwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of dental support for elderly people in care homes.

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

In June 2019, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published the report ‘Oral health care in care homes’. Dental inspectors attended 100 routine inspections of care homes.

The main findings included that most care homes did not have a policy to promote and protect oral health (52%), almost half of care homes were not training staff to support oral health care (47%) and 73% of care plans reviewed only partly covered or did not cover oral health.

The report also found that around two thirds (67%) of the care homes reported that they could always, or nearly always, access National Health Service dental care and 10% reported they had no way of accessing emergency dental treatment for people. Around 34% of homes reported that there was no or limited access to out-of-hours services. Some care home managers stated that they had to call general practitioners, NHS 111, or even take the person requiring emergency care to accident and emergency. The CQC’s report can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/major-report/smiling-matters-oral-health-care-care-homes

We will consider the recommendations of the CQC’s report carefully and support commissioners to take any action necessary to continue to improve the oral health of older people.

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