David McGuire, the Chief Executive of the charity Diagrama Foundation is asking for better access to NHS dental services for care home residents.
David McGuire, the Chief Executive of Diagrama Foundation is asking for a review of access to NHS dental care for the residents of care homes across England after a report released by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in March 2023.
The 2022 “Smiling Matters” report published by the CQC reports that 25%, or a quarter of care home residents, do not have access to NHS dental services. This figure has increased dramatically from the previous CQC report in 2019 which stated that 6% of care home residents did not have access to NHS dental care.
Mr McGuire, who’s charity has a Supported Living Service across Bromley, three homes for adults with learning disabilities in Orpington, an eight-bed care home for adults with learning disabilities in West Sussex and a fifty-bed care home for the elderly with nursing and dementia needs in Essex, feels the results of the March CQC Smiling Matters report should lead to an investigation about how the current situation can be improved.
David McGuire, Chief Executive of Diagrama Foundation said, “We are experiencing difficulties with access to NHS dentists across all our care homes. At our care home in Clacton, most of our fifty residents have to pay for private treatment or travel 18 miles to Colchester where we are able to access limited NHS treatments. In some cases, we need to use community dental care, but waiting times are uncomfortably long, as not enough dentists are able or willing to visit care homes to treat people who may be less mobile, meaning private treatment is the only option.”
The 2022 CQC report states ‘We are concerned that people living in care homes are missing out on vital care from dental practitioners – both at the right time and in the right place. The proportion of care home providers saying that people who use their services could ‘never’ access NHS dental care rose by more than 4 times – from just 6% in 2019 to 25% in 2022.’
David McGuire continued, “The NICE guideline NG48, published in July 2016, recognised the importance of good oral care for people in care homes yet the situation is worsening not improving. Poor oral health can be linked to weight loss, and we want to do all we can, to prevent the health of people in our care deteriorating.”
To find out more about Diagrama Foundation visit – www.diagramafoundation.org.uk
Notes to Editors
Senior Carer Dale Gould is the Edensor Oral Health Champion (a role recommended in the 2019 CQC Smiling Matters report)
The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England.
Between April and June 2022, the CQC inspected 50 care homes, and asked in-depth questions about oral health care to find out what has changed since their original set of special inspections that were completed in January 2019.
To view the CQC report Smiling matters: Oral health in care homes – progress report, visit
About Diagrama Foundation
Diagrama Foundation is a Kent based charity that supports vulnerable children, young people, and adults to live their best life.
Diagrama has a Supported Living Service across Bromley, three homes for adults with learning disabilities in Orpington, an eight-bed care home for adults with learning disabilities in West Sussex a fifty-bed care home for the elderly with nursing and dementia needs in Essex, and a fostering and adoption service in the southeast.
- The Supported Living Service, cares for 35 adults with learning disabilities, in nine homes across Bromley helping them to develop skills and confidence to live in their own house either on their own or with others.
- At Cabrini House in Orpington the charity promotes the development of core skills for 23 adults with learning disabilities so that they can lead independent lives integrated within their community.
- Duckyls Farm in West Sussex, a care home for eight residents with learning disabilities, joined the charity care provider in February 2023.
- The team at their nursing and dementia care home Edensor in Clacton on Sea, support their vulnerable residents to live life to the full.
- Diagrama’s adoption and fostering service cares for children in South London, Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.
Many vulnerable children and adults don’t get the support they need to develop their true potential, but the Diagrama team know that when someone has time and belief invested in them, they come alive, because that investment has made them feel valued and worthy.