We have a Trust-wide training programme to help us deliver better mouth hygiene care for our less able patients, with over 400 frontline staff being trained last week.
Previously this was available only on our ICUs and our Stroke Unit and is now being rolled out across all wards.
John Venters from the company which make the packs has been with us showing our ward teams how to use them for maximum benefit for our patients. He is pictured here with the team on Ward 6 at HRI. John has completed one tour around and will be returning to provide extra sessions for any colleagues who missed out first time round.
Lead Infection Prevention and Control nurse, Jean Robinson, said: “Oral hygiene is an essential aspect of nursing care, central to patient comfort and wellbeing. Poor oral hygiene may effect communication, nutritional intake, sense of taste and can cause pain, infection and can unnecessarily extend a patient’s hospital stay. The training and products will help us deliver oral hygiene and improve our patients’ experience’’.
Oral hygiene is a fundamental aspect of nursing care as poor oral hygiene can affect self-esteem, quality of life and general wellbeing. It can reduce the patient’s sense of taste and therefore affect their desire to eat, impacting on recovery from illness.
It also reduces the risk of aspiration pneumonia, which is a common complication for patients resulting in a longer length of stay, increased mortality and poor patient outcomes.
It starts with a risk assessment then appropriate product is selected depending on the associated risk, low, medium or high.