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Article: Volume 42 Number 4 Page 318 - May 2015

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  Dent Update 2015; 42: 318-323

Patient-Centred Care:  The Francis Report – Implications for Oral Care of the Elderly

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Abstract: Oral health is an essential, yet often neglected, aspect of care in the elderly population. A mouth free of pain and disease which is functional, comfortable and aesthetic improves quality of life. Following the shocking reports of patient neglect and abuse published in the Francis Report, the dental profession must acknowledge that there are longstanding deficiencies in the provision of oral healthcare for the elderly, whether residing in care homes, hospitals or at home with support. It must be a universal goal to improve the care provision for this population through developing a greater understanding and overcoming the multi-factorial barriers to care. This article will highlight the key features of the Francis Report and its significance in the context of oral healthcare provision for the elderly.

Clinical relevance: To provide insight into the oral healthcare needs of the growing elderly population and the necessity of dealing with the current limitations in service provision.

Author notes: Nicholas Beacher, BDS, MFDS RCPSG, Clinical Lecturer in Special Care Dentistry and M Petrina Sweeney, BDS, MSc (Med Sci), DDS, FDS RCPSG, Senior Lecturer/Honorary Consultant in Special Care Dentistry. Glasgow Dental School, School of Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK.

Objective: To recognize the importance of good oral health in the elderly population and the subsequent negative implications upon health and quality of life when oral health deteriorates.