CQC report highlights failings in dental care across the care sector

The CQC has today released a review of oral health and dental care provided to those in care homes. The report concludes that this is poorly implemented in care homes.  The review is based on 100 visits to different care homes by dental inspectors and oral health specialists.

There are specific NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines to cover dental care for persons living in residential care but in the majority of cases these were not being followed.  Residents generally had their oral health assessed upon admission, but often care home staff were not aware of the NICE guidelines and had not had specific training on oral health.  More worryingly, over half of the care homes surveyed had no policy to promote oral health, and nearly three quarters of the care plans reviews did not cover oral health or only partly covered it.

The CQC comment in the foreword to the report highlights the fact that the elderly of today generally are more likely to retain their teeth than earlier generations.  Good oral care is essential for those in care homes to reduce pain and reduce the risk of malnutrition.  Oral care was also often not joined up meaning that when emergency dental treatment was required, the homes would call a GP, or 111, or send the person to A&E – thereby placing a strain on already overworked services.

The care sector should carefully consider this report with a view to future policies and management of residents’ oral health otherwise this may be an area that residents and families focus upon in terms of claiming for damages.

The CQC’s report can be found here:  https://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/major-report/smiling-matters-oral-health-care-care-homes


Written by Jennifer Johnston at BLM

Celebrating work in the care sector as minister reports on delayed Green Paper

A very enjoyable evening yesterday at the National Care Association Summer Reception hosted by Howdens Insurance brokers. We hear a lot of negativity around care services, so it was lovely to spend an evening celebrating all the incredible work that is performed in the care sector.

We heard an interesting address by Caroline Dineage, Minister of State for Health, including a mention of the long-delayed Green Paper on social care – which isn’t going to be published any time soon. The Green Paper is intended to explore the issue of how social care is funded by recipients and consider a range of proposals including a more generous means test, a cap on lifetime care charges and tac-free withdrawals from pension pots. When it is finally published, it will simply set out a range of recommendations for further consultation so any reforms to the current system will be even further down the line.  During her address, the Minister also repeated her previous words of caution that, when published, the Green Paper will not solve all the challenges of social care.

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Stephen Hawking’s former nurse struck off

One of the nurses who provided care to the late Professor Stephen Hawking has been struck off the nursing register by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (“NMC”).  Patricia Dowdy worked for Professor Hawking from 1999 to 2004 and again from 2013 to 2016.  An interim suspension had been put in place in 2016. 

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CQC publishes proposals as the next stage of regulating independent healthcare providers

In August 2017 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) had rated just three out of 17 online primary care services providers as having met the required safety standards. As the CQC does not have the legal powers to give online services an overall rating as it does with GP practices they have instead rated them by giving them a pass or fail to five key questions:

  • Whether the service is safe? 
  • Whether the service is effective? 
  • Whether the service is responsive? 
  • Whether the service is caring? 
  • Whether the service is well-led?
Continue reading “CQC publishes proposals as the next stage of regulating independent healthcare providers”