Janet Finch-Saunders, Shadow Minister for Social Care, has put pressure on the First Minister to address the “decay” in the Welsh Government’s Gwên am Byth oral health improvement scheme. This followed her finding that around 4,600 care homes residents participating in the scheme did not have a mouth care health plan in place for the year ending March 2019.
For the reporting year ending March 2019 there were 10,228 residents in the 287 homes participating fully in the Gwên am Byth programme. Of these 55% (5,670 residents) had a mouth care plan being delivered.
After raising the situation in Questions to the First Minister, the Shadow Minister said:
“I am pleased that the First Minister has acknowledge that very small things do make a real difference in the lives of care home residents.
“This includes good dental care, so I welcome the fact that the Gwên am Byth scheme aims to see staff trained in mouth care, oral risk assessments undertaken, individual care plans prepared, and care home residents provided with appropriate mouth care resources for their care plan.
“The requirements can be as simple as ensuring that a toothbrush and high fluoride toothpaste is available.
“Having visited a number of care homes, I have seen a significant effort being made to look after residents in their home away from home.
“However, I am concerned that the Welsh Government scheme only resulted in 55% of residents in the 287 homes participating fully receiving a mouth care plan.
“It is very easy for the First Minister to state that additional money was made available for the programme, and that it is being rolled-out fully to all care homes in Wales during 2020/21.
“However, there seems to be a decay that needs addressing first: the fact that all residents living in homes which are already part of the scheme are not seeing a mouth care plan being delivered”.
Janet Finch-Saunders AM during questions to the First Minister