Improving dental and oral health in care homes: new research project

We’ve been hearing from a number of care home residents in Westminster and RBKC about the difficulties they have when trying to access dental care. This got us thinking about how dental care is managed in care homes.

At Healthwatch Central West London we have a team of Dignity Champions who work with local care homes, hospitals, and community services to carry out Enter and View visits that help to assess whether patients are being treated with dignity and respect.

As we’re currently unable to visit most care homes, we’ve had to take a different approach.  We worked with our Dignity Champions to create a dental health and care survey to hear from more care home residents, their relatives and friends and care home staff across the bi-borough to learn more about the situation. Our survey is available online, printed (with a freepost envelope included), or respondents have the opportunity to speak directly to one of our team.

Out of the 15 care homes contacted so far, 9 care homes have offered to share our survey to help us raise the issue of dental health and care and we’re working closely with care home managers to get responses from as many people as we can from the three groups.

We will also be running a zoom event in November, open to care home residents and staff, care home managers, friends and relatives. The event is designed to share ideas about what is working well and how things could be improved.

The final report will be shared with service providers, commissioners and other decision-makers in December including highlights from what we’ve heard, and making recommendations about any changes that are needed.

If you have any questions about this engagement work, please contact Jill Prawer at Jill.Prawer@healthwatchcentralwestlondon.org or call 07930 484 655