Care home residents’ oral health needs are the focus of a new NICE quality standards guidelines.
The guidelines outline the importance of assessing new resident’s oral health care needs and recording their needs in personal plans to ensure they’re continually reviewed.
The new plans have been welcomed by the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT).
‘These guidelines are a massive step in the right direction to ensure that people in care homes receive the oral health care they need and deserve,’ President of the BSDHT, Helen Minnery, said.
‘We feel that there has previously been a lack of effective support and guidance in this area, which has led to many care home residents not getting the support they need.
‘At the BSDHT we strongly believe that this is an area of the care system that has been continually lacking and are delighted by this movement.’
The new guidelines will ensure more than 425,000 people living in care homes around the UK are supported to clean their teeth twice a day.
The changes come after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a draft quality standard in January to help improve the oral health of residents in care homes and hospitals.
‘We know that supporting good daily oral health care in care homes varies enormously across the country,’ Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of NICE, said in January.
‘This draft quality standard prioritises assessment of care home residents, recording of plans and ensuring support is in place for those who need it.
‘We are confident that such simple measures could substantially improve the quality of life of many people living in care homes.’