What CQC Expects

On 7th June 2017 NICE Quality Standard 'Oral Care in Care Homes' was published '  it recommends that residents have their oral health in care homes needs assessed on admission and recorded in their personal care plans, and are supported to clean their teeth twice a day and/or their dentures daily.


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) expects care managers to take account of the nationally recognised guidance including CQC Guidance from NICE.

A quick guide for care home managers' which highlights areas for Care Managers to focus on.


CQC, in essence, would like to see care homes prioritizing oral care. Included in the guide are the tools for helping make those improvements.



CQC Added Two Mandatory Oral Health Questions to Effective Key Line of Enquiry prompts 

  New questions to improve oral care in care homes have been added to the Care Quality Commission’s ‘effective’ key line of inspection inquiry.

The new questions are:

1. Do all staff have training in oral health care?

  • Is oral health covered in induction?

  • Is oral health a mandatory component of regular training?

  • Do staff feel confident in supporting oral health care?

  • Do staff know what to look for to identify deterioration in oral health?

  • Do staff consider poor oral health when assessing reasons behind weight loss, infection, or tissue viability?

2. How do you ensure oral health care is assessed, considered and delivered as a part of a person’s care plan?

  • Is the service aware of the NICE Guideline NG48?

  • Is oral health assessed fully on entry to the care home in line with this guideline?

  • Is there a detailed oral health care plan in place?

  • Do people have easy access to toothpaste, toothbrushes, denture cleaning fluid?

  • Do people have access to routine and emergency dental care?

Oral Care in Care Homes Policy

Edit and update as and when required to ensure adherence to NICE's Best Practice recommendations

Community care teams and care homes should establish links with local dental teams and a reliable dental referral system or protocol. This should improve dental access for residents and ensure that referrals are feasible and more efficient. Links should be established with local general dental practices, the local Community Dental Service and any local Special Care Dentistry departments.


This Oral Care Policy has been designed by Knowledge Oral Health Care Ltd.

oral health policy

to download and print click HERE


It is your responsibility to ensure your staff read and understand the policy and procedures.

The Oral Care Policy in Word format and can be edited and updated as required. 


ORAL CARE POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS (NICE) https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng48


1.1 Care home policies on oral health and providing residents with support to access dental services


To be included in an Oral Health Policy 


1. local  general dental services and emergency or out-of-hours dental treatment

2. community dental services, including special care dentistry teams

3. oral health promotion or similar services, depending on local arrangements

4. assessment of residents' oral health and referral to dental practitioners 

5. plans for caring for residents' oral health

6. daily mouth care and use of mouth and denture care products

 7. what happens if a resident refuses oral health care (in line with 8. the refusal of care)

8. supply of oral hygiene equipment (for example, basic toothbrush or toothpaste).



1.1.2 Ensure you set out your duty of care in relation to residents' oral health needs and access to dental treatments.

1.1.3 Ensure the oral health policy aligns with advice in the Delivering better oral health toolkit.

1.1.4 Ensure the oral health policy makes it clear that only practitioners registered with the General Dental Council and acting within its scope of practice may diagnose and treat dental disease or refer someone for specialist treatment (see NICE's guideline on suspected cancer: recognition and referral).

1.1.5 Ensure mouth care is included in existing care home policies covering residents' health and wellbeing and reviewed in line with local practice.

1.1.6 Ensure all care staff, new and existing residents and their families or friends (if they are involved in the resident's care) are aware of care home policies to promote health and wellbeing, including mouth care.


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