Local care home residents are well supported with their oral health

Our volunteers visited six local care homes, speaking to residents, relatives and staff. We also met with the Oral Health Promotion Team from Whittington Health.
Elderly woman brushing her teeth

Why we decided to look at oral health in our care homes

In June 2019 the Care Quality Commission published the report, Smiling Matters: Oral Health in Care Homes based on visits to 100 homes across the country. They found that nearly half were not training staff to support daily oral healthcare, and that it could be difficult for residents to access dental care. We wanted to see what the situation was like in Islington.

What we found on our visits

  • We saw that residents were well supported with care of their teeth and dentures
  • Staff were well trained in oral health issues. Evidence of good practice was present across all of the homes
  • At all the homes, the training and support from the oral health promotion team was seen as important and helpful. This team is part of the community dental service provided by Whittington Health. They provide training and guidance to care homes on good oral health, and supply the residents with high fluoride toothpaste and different types of brushes.
We were really impressed with what we found, both in terms of the support offered by the community dental team, and the commitment to oral health from the homes. However, we think it would be good to see more information about oral health and dental care given to relatives, and more access to preventative dental services for residents.
— Jeni Kent, Volunteer and Project Manager, Healthwatch Islington

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