Relatives & Residents Association

We support, inform and speak on behalf of older people in care


Oral Health Care – new guidelines at last

7 July 2016



NICE’s new guidelines on Oral health for adults in care homes, to which we contributed, reinforces the messages in our sell-out publication,‘ Keep Smiling’. Ever since our inception, the R&RA has campaigned for improved dental care in care homes for older people. We have continued to reinforce these crucial dental care messages in our latest Keys to Care resource.

Without proper training and supervision, which emphasises the lack of dignity and embarrassment with ill-fitting or damaged dentures, as well as the discomfort and pain often involved, staff cannot deliver good enough care. Unless both commissioners and regulators take this new guidance seriously, little will change.

The guidelines emphasise that poor oral health care affects over 50% of residents and risks masking other serious health problems including cancer, heart and lung disease, and dementia. Yet, despite its importance, it is a topic rarely highlighted or mentioned in CQC inspection reports.

Judy Downey, Chair of R&RA says “it is good news that NICE have published these guidelines setting out clear lines of responsibility for such a crucial part of a person’s care and wellbeing. Let’s hope it makes a real difference.”

Read more about our Keys to Care resources

Read the article here

Read NICE’s guidelines here

Download R&RA’s free Dental Care Leaflet and Wall Poster full of useful guidance here

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