At the start of the Enhanced Care Home Outcomes (ECHO) study an audit was carried out of its 104 care homes (approx. 4,000 residents) to collate baseline data on dementia diagnosis, nutrition, end of life care and medication use.

A further audit was planned for the end of the project, in January 2016, as part its evaluation. This audit was modified to include dental care in these care homes, making efficient use of the existing ECHO integrated care teams and resources.

The aim of the dental audit was to find out if the residents in the care homes had an oral health care plan. If they did have a care plan, whether the plan adheres to best practice guidelines. The audit took place in collaboration with the dental team for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust who were also involved in designing the data collection tools.

In total 3,305 resident’s notes were audited using the dental guidance. Results for each care home were categorised as either green, amber or red:

  • Green – Dental care plan completed as per guideline;
  • Amber – Dental care plan partially completed as per guideline; and
  • Red – No dental care plan.