Care home oral health training package set for August rollout

A nurse educator designed staff training package is set to be launched across North Devon

Two-hour oral health training package for staff set to be launched across North Devon next month

Good oral health is integral to ensuring residents are hydrated and nourished

A nurse educator designed oral health training package will soon be rolled out across 55 residential, nursing, supported living and domiciliary care homes.

The two-hour training package for care home staff will be delivered face-to-face by one of three nurse educators from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

Call for improvements

The package is being launched across North Devon in August and follows the release of a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report which called for improvements in oral healthcare across care homes.

Over a four-month period from October 2018 to January 2019, CQC dental inspectors visited 100 care home services across England.

The subsequent report, Smiling Matters: Oral Health Care in Care Homes, revealed:

  • 47% of care homes were not providing any staff training to support people’s daily oral healthcare.
  • 52% of the care homes visited had no policy to protect people’s oral health.

Rebecca Young

Rebecca Young, nurse educator in the care homes team at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, worked on the comprehensive training package and streamlined it after the release of the CQC report in June.

‘Oral care poses many challenges for care staff and our training package is designed to provide care staff with the knowledge, assessment tools, support and guidance to enable them to overcome these while maintaining each unique and individual client’s dignity and comfort,’ she said.

The package emphasises the importance of record-keeping for all elements of oral care and helps staff to signpost any issues to specialist services.


RCN professional lead for older people Dawne Garrett said: ‘As the CQC report made clear, oral health is an essential part of good nursing care and integral to ensuring residents and clients are hydrated and nourished.

‘Poor oral health can leave people in pain and discomfort and has an overall negative impact on quality of life.

‘It’s always been difficult to acquire access to dentists for people who are unable to leave the care home and nurses should do all they can to guarantee this access.’

Find out more

Care Quality Commission (2019) Smiling Matters: Oral Health Care in Care Homes

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