WQ92825 (e) Tabled on 10/05/2024

What is the Welsh Government doing to improve access to dental care for care home residents in west Wales?

Answered by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care | Answered on 16/05/2024

Gwên am Byth is a national oral health improvement programme delivered by the Community Dental Services in Wales with the primary aim of improving oral health and hygiene for older people living in care homes. It was first introduced in 2015. It is delivered in partnership with care and nursing home staff and wider social care and health care professionals.

The aims of the programme are to ensure:

  • an up-to-date mouth care policy is in place in each care home;
  • staff are trained in mouth care (including at induction) and the home keeps a register of training;
  • residents have a mouth care assessment at appropriate intervals to identify any changes that will impact on their oral health;
  • the assessment leads to an individual care plan, designed to support routine good oral hygiene that is reviewed on a regular basis; and
  • care homes are aware of how to ensure timely access to appropriate dental care and treatment when required.

A Gwên am Byth Essential alternative package was developed in 2021 to enable a simplified approach to offer and achieve the aims of the programme to all care homes and other care providers, such as domiciliary care services.

In 2022-23, 44 adult care and nursing homes participated in Gwên am Byth in Hywel Dda University Health Board. The Community Dental Services also provided 126 training sessions, which were attended by 568 care home staff.