Supporting carers to facilitate access to dental care for people living with dementia
PHE ePoster Library. Hillman L. 09/10/18; 221269; 109
Linda Hillman
Linda Hillman
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Abstract Background: People with dementia may miss out on regular mouth care and dental visits, or worse, have dental pain requiring unplanned dental trips. Dentists may feel isolated in making best interest decisions, potentially delaying treatment. We reviewed the whole dental pathway in a locality, identified barriers, produced and distributed information for stakeholders to overcome these, and we arranged evaluation. Method: Initial discussions were led by Southend CCG Quality Team. Written resources were created, with input from stakeholders, co-ordinated by Public Health England. Resources were produced and disseminated. Evaluation continues through local networks and users. Results: The barriers identified were lack of accessible information to plan a dental visit or understand “consent” for dental treatment/ the Mental Capacity Act, and need for more dementia friendly services, with confident 'best interest' decisions. Visual aids produced by Southend CCG were a) a series of pictures with narrative to guide conversations in the community about a dental visit, b) top tips for dentists to support a patient with dementia, c) an algorithm for dental professionals making best interest decisions. Essex County Council produced further copies for their care homes, domiciliary care providers, learning disability support staff and local dental teams. The Pan Essex Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) offered an educational event to enhance promotion to dental teams. Conclusion: The speed by which the resources were adopted locally and through wider networks suggest our assessment of gaps and approaches to mitigate these resonate, and promise continuing engagement as we further evaluate and refine the information. External funding details Acknowledgement: with thanks to Southend CCG for supporting the project and funding development and production of the initial resource set.
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