No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claims

If you think you may have been the victim of health care negligence contact our specialist solicitors now for free advice.

Get Instant, No Obligation Advice From Our Experts

Get a Free Claim Assessment

Please check your details before you submit this form. By submitting your details you confirm your agreement to our privacy policy

May 30, 2023

Care Homes Face Alarming Neglect in Dental Care

Liz Wynn, manager of Southminster Residential Home, near Maldon in Essex has said that it had become almost impossible to secure the services of NHS dentists to provide dental treatment for her elderly residents. She said her residents had to wait for months to get dental treatment.

This comes after the Care Quality Commission revealed in its April 2023 report that the percentage of care home providers who said their patients had never had access to dental care had risen from 6% in 2019 to 25% in 2022.

Ms Wynn who had earlier written to the government about this issue also mentioned that the unavailability of NHS community dentists to come into the home to carry out check-ups and treatment for residents had been a source of worry for almost a decade.

NHS Mid and South Essex had said it was looking at some measures to improve access of care home residents to dental care.

Ms Wynn said, "I do feel very passionate about it and these people deserve the care from the dental services - it's so wrong. They do come in - but it takes a long time because they're under so much demand."

She also stated that it usually takes about three to four months after making a request for a dentist to come and see a resident. She equally mentioned that it would be ideal for care home residents to be seen once every six months or at least once a year but unfortunately, this is not the case.

Ms Wynn added that staff are checking residents’ mouths daily in addition to other oral care home procedures to prevent worsening oral problems. She however expressed concerns that conditions such as dementia could make it difficult to detect when a patient was in pain. She also noted that elderly residents could suffer potentially life-threatening infections as a result of poor oral hygiene.

Another care home owner Azeem Raja said that he felt his residents were regarded as second-class citizens by some dental practitioners. He has even asked some families to arrange for a private dentist to attend to their relatives. This however is not always possible.

He said that most care homes were denied dental services noting that oral health was essential to a person’s general wellbeing and affects their ability to eat, swallow, digest food eventually.

Sarah Cawte has her aunt Isabelle in the Southminster home and for over a year has not been able to see a dentist despite her dental problems. Isabelle has dementia and has had several teeth extracted after the Covid lockdowns.

Sarah Cawte's aunt Isabelle moved into the Southminster home a year ago but has not seen a dentist since then.

NHS Mid and South Essex who received the responsibility for the commissioning of NHS dentistry services from NHS England in April 2023 said they are committed to ensure everyone is able to access high quality dental care including care home residents.

It said, "We are currently considering a number of approaches to improve access for patients who are housebound or those in residential care homes who are not able to attend dental surgeries. Urgent dental care is available for anyone who needs it, and people should continue to use the NHS 111 service for advice on where to go."

The Department of Health and Social Care said it was investing more than £3bn a year in order to improve access to NHS dental care. It also said it had made some reforms so that more dentists can provide NHS treatments. It also allowed dental therapists and hygienists to offer extra services while increasing the amount practices earn for high-need patients.

Additionally, it said there were more than 500 NHS dentists in 2022 than in the previous year. It concludes by saying further measures to improve access to dental care in England will be announced soon.

Has Your Loved One Suffered Care Home Neglect?

If your relative has been a victim of negligence or abuse in a care home, you may be entitled to make a claim and seek care home neglect compensation. You can give us a call or fill out our free online claims enquiry form to get started.

We are a claims management company and receive payments from our partnered law firms for our service. If you qualify for a free claim assessment and that assessment is successful, you will be connected to an expert law firm to assist with your potential claim. Our service is completely free. The solicitors we work with strive to secure the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitors

Get a Free Claim Assessment

Please check your details before you submit this form. By submitting your details you confirm your agreement to our privacy policy

Get in touch! We can help with your claim!

Email Or Call us