Community dental services across Wales have worked closely with care home staff to develop the ‘All Wales’ Mouthcare Assessment and Care Plan.
In a health care setting, an assessment is described as the gathering of information and formulation of judgements regarding a person’s health, situation, needs and wishes, which should guide further health action.
All care home residents should have a mouthcare assessment within seven days of moving to a care home, which is then updated monthly, or sooner if needed. It can be carried out by suitably trained nursing or care staff and involves asking the resident questions and looking in the mouth with a pen torch. Where family and friends are involved in ongoing care, consider involving them in the initial assessment, with the residents' permission, if it will help staff understand the resident's usual oral hygiene routine.
An effective mouthcare assessment identifies risk factors to inform and support the mouthcare plan. The assessment helps staff to identify problems at the earliest stage and create an individual care plan for the resident. The assessment is not an examination or diagnostic tool and care home staff will need close contact with the local Gwên am Byth dental team for advice and support.
Both the mouthcare assessment and care plan must be kept in a folder that is easily accessible for all staff. Recording that mouthcare has been delivered and carried out is important for several reasons: