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Funding boost to improve oral health of older people living in care homes in Wales

14 January 2020
The BDA welcomes news that the Welsh Government is doubling the funding for a programme that focuses on improving the oral health of older people living in care homes.

The Gwên am Byth (A Lasting Smile) oral health improvement programme was previously running in just over half of the care homes across Wales’ seven health boards, but half a million pounds will now be available to all care homes in Wales from 2020/21. 

As with the Designed to Smile programme, Gwên am Byth is very largely led and delivered by Dental Care Professionals (DCPs).

The BDA has long been calling for adequate and sustained investment for dental care for older people and has highlighted the problems those living in care homes face in keeping good oral health. 

Studies have shown that those living in care homes have high levels of tooth decay and are less likely to be able to maintain a regular oral health hygiene routine and are less likely to be able to get access to a dentist regular dental check-ups.

BDA Wales National Director, Caroline Seddon said:

“We have long been asking for better provision for our more vulnerable adult patients, so it’s great to see increased investment in this programme to support the needs of older people living in care homes.

“But more still needs to be done. We’ve been saying for some time that our older generation are a ticking time bomb, with heavily restored mouths that will need attention as they age.

"We need a dental contract that truly concentrates on patients’ needs, and a move away from a targeted-based system, to ensure we can deliver on real prevention for future generations. We support a reformed dental contract that works for everyone.”

BDA Wales

BDA Wales campaigns for the interests of all dentists working in Wales. With our elected committee members, we negotiate on behalf of the profession on terms and conditions, pay and contracts: join us.