Sheffield care home says changes have been made after man's death

A Sheffield care home says steps have been taken to improve dental care after a man died.

By Robert Cumber
Thursday, 27th June 2019, 4:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th June 2019, 6:25 pm
Norbury Court care home, on Devon Road, in Sheffield (pic: Google)
Norbury Court care home, on Devon Road, in Sheffield (pic: Google)

Patrick Kelly, who lived at Norbury Court, in Pitsmoor, died from sepsis in June last year, aged 91, after developing a dental abscess.

An inquest into his death heard the abscess, which was a result of poor dental hygiene, had contributed to him developing the deadly condition.

Norbury Court care home, on Devon Road, in Sheffield (pic: Google)

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A coroner subsequently called on the care home to do more to ensure all residents receive adequate dental care, saying she believed others could die if action was not taken.

Writing in what is known as a ‘regulation 28’ report - sent to Roseberry Care Centres, which runs Norbury Court – assistant coroner Abigail Combes said those caring for Mr Kelly ‘did not do everything in their power to ensure opportunities to improve his dental care were provided’.

She said he had missed dental appointments, which were not rearranged, ‘with the care provider evidently placing little priority on the provision of dental care to their resident’.

“Roseberry Care Centres do not place adequate weight on the importance of dental hygiene and the provision of dental services to their residents. This has potentially resulted in the worsening of a dental abscess in one case,” she wrote.

“Roseberry Care Centres do not have adequate policies in place to deal with missed dental appointments and the identification of when dental appointments may be required.”

Melanie Auckland, group director of operations and compliance at Roseberry Care Centres, said: “I can confirm that Roseberry Care Centres has taken appropriate action across the group as requested in correspondence from Ms Combes, and we have issued a report outlining our actions as requested.”

Ms Combes’ report highlighting concerns about Mr Kelly’s care was published in the same month the Care Quality Commission called for care homes across England to better look after their residents’ teeth, following a review exposing how many people were being let down.

The watchdog found that more than half of the care homes it visited had no policy in place to promote and protect people’s oral health, and just under half were not providing staff with any training on how to support people’s daily oral healthcare.

Commenting on the findings, Charlotte Waite, of the British Dental Association, said the report ‘shines a light on services that are failing some of the most vulnerable in our society’, with some residents left unable to eat, drink and communicate.

“We require nothing short of a revolution in the approach to dentistry in residential homes,” she added.

“Oral health can no longer remain the missing piece when it comes to care planning and budgets.”