Mouth Care Matters conference 7th July 2017 – Making it sustainable – Can you afford not to?

On Friday 7th July 2017 Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust hosted the Mouth Care Matters conference. The conference aimed to showcase the improvements the Mouth Care Matters initiative has made to patient care across 13 trusts in Kent, Surrey and Sussex and most importantly discuss how to make these changes sustainable.

Mili Doshi, Consultant in Special Care Dentistry opened the conference with an overview of how the hospital programme began. Describing how Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust (SaSH) was the first to recruit a ‘Mouth Care team’ at East Surrey hospital. The team which she leads, worked to develop a training and education package that could be adapted and rolled out. Following this successful pilot, Health Education England funded a further 12 trusts to recruit a Mouth Care Lead for 12 months to implement the Mouth Care Matters programme.

Professor Stephen Lambert- Humble, HEE Post Graduate Dental Dean and the driving force behind Mouth Care Matters spoke of his passion for improving oral health and his vision for the future. He was followed by Lead economist from the KSS AHSN Richard Lee-Wright, who gave a fascinating talk around the health economics work that was commissioned to look at whether the initiative has saved the trust money.

Chief Dental Officer for England Sara Hurley delivered a passionate speech about the importance of ‘putting the mouth back into the body’. She also described why she wants to see the Mouth Care Matters initiative in every hospital in England.

Dental Core Trainee Jessica Mann  presented the baseline statistics from the programme. Highlighting that none of the trust had a mouth care policy prior to implementation.

Some of the highlights from the Mouth Care Matters Leads presentations:

  • James McGoldrick, a speech and language therapist and  Marcella Adair a dental nurse, spoke about their first hand experiences on the wards and how mouth care was an area of care that needed to improve.
  • Almas Ataie  presented a powerful patient story on the impact the failure to provide mouth care had on a vulnerable patient.  Almas also described that on a positive note this case made the trust realise that they needed to improve the oral health care of patients.
  • Jenny Chay shared a personal story about how the mouth is often forgotten about in overall care.
  • Loraine Lee talked about her day to day role and the importance of having a permanent lead in the trust.
  • Jessica Cubberley  shared her experiences of being on a ward and the situations where mouth care may get missed due to the daily pressures and how she uses this in her training.Posters on MCM
  • Sarah Haslam  and Samantha King talked about the benefits and challenges of class room training and wards based training.
  • Linda Edwards took us through how important it is to have the right tools for mouth care on the ward. She also took us through what wards should have available.
  • Tracey Peters talked about her role as a lead and the support she gives both staff, patients and carers.
  • Rebecca Low gave a powerful talk. She told us how she helped liaise so that a young lady who’s whole world had been turned upside down, who then also lost her front teeth could have some dentures made, so she could still smile at her four year old daughter.

Posters produced by the leads were displayed for everyone to read.

MCM leads at conference


There was a standing ovation for all the Mouth Care Leads. They have worked so hard in their trusts and as a network to develop this initiative.

One delegates said ” The testimonials from the Leads were the absolute proof (as if we needed it) that this is incredibly important and worthwhile for our patients wellbeing, comfort and dignity.”

Mili Doshi then spoke about the evaluation of the programme in trusts so far and the improvements that are being made. At SASH where the programme was developed the mouth care role is now a trust funded permanent role. Mouth care recording has also increased by 75%. Mouth care training is now mandatory for nursing staff, mouth care training is now on the junior doctor’s programme and there are pathways for urgent oral care.

The day ended with a talk about the future of Mouth Care Matters from programme lead Samit Shah.

Feedback from delegates has been very positive:

 Delegate said”Thank you for a brilliant day – inspiring, forward thinking and innovative work.”

Another”Look forward to seeing Mouth Care Matters develop more in future.”