We welcome the Care Quality Commission's release of its report today: Smiling matters: oral health care in care homes.

From meetings with the staff at our Pennington Court location back in 2018 we idenitified the issue of providing effective mouth care to our residents as a clinical uncertainty.

At the time we were about to embark on our partnership with the University of Leeds (NICHE - Nurtuting Innovation in Care Homes Excellence) - a partnership between care homes and academia. It’s a platform that provides the leadership, expertise, and interdisciplinary collaboration that helps care homes innovate efficiently, effectively and sustainably.

With support from Professor Karen Spilsbury we developed our research question ‘ What interventions, or strategies are effective for promoting oral health among residents who resist mouth care?’.

The evidence from the research showed that staff were aware of many of the suggested interventions however there were some areas of further interventions that will enhance our practice.

Karen has completed literature reviews of the available evidence and is producing a resource for staff to support them in giving effective mouth care to all residents. When completed the resource will be shared with all staff and used as part of our induction training process.

Professor Karen Spilsbury and the teams at both care homes have been busy sharng our findings at a variety of conferencs including a most recent presentation at Newcastle University's conference looking at the landscape of current care home research and sharing research projects from all over the country.

We will continue to share further findings and developments in our training on oral health care over the coming months.

Download full CQC report: Smiling Matters

Download summary CQC report: Smiling Matters
"We’d like to think that it is the little things we do every day that make Westward Care so unique."
Peter Hodkinson
Managing Director, Westward Care