Source: CQC

CQC have shared what they found from their review of oral health care in care homes across England, called ‘Smiling Matters?

The report reveals an extensive lack of awareness of NICE guidelines. It finds that many residents are not supported to maintain and their improve oral health.

The CQC have recommended a cross-sector approach to raise awareness and improve practice. This includes mandatory staff training and oral health check-ups for all new care home residents. 

Report Overview

Following a request from the Department of Health and Social Care, CQC worked with stakeholders to look at how well the Code was being used across mental health services since it was updated in 2015.

The CQC looked for the useful things and the barriers that services have found when they use the guidance. They also looked at what impact these things have had on people’s experience of detention, care, and treatment.

What CQC did

Dental professionals accompanied their adult social care inspectors on 100 routine inspections.

What CQC found

Among the homes visited:

  • most had no policy to promote and protect people’s oral health (52%)
  • nearly half were not training staff to support daily oral healthcare (47%)
  • 73% of care plans reviewed only partly covered or did not cover oral health
  • it could be difficult for residents to access dental care
  • 10% of the homes had no way to access emergency dental treatment for residents


CQC recommend

A cross-sector approach including:

  • sharing best practice
  • repeating and reinforcing the guidance
  • mandatory staff training
  • oral health check-ups for all residents moving into a care home
  • a multi-agency group to raise awareness


» Click here to read the summary report 

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