Children

The caries/decay status of children in the UK is at an appalling level.  31% of 5 year olds and 46% of 8 year olds present with obvious decay experience.  This has resulted in more than 43,000 dental general anaesthetics having taken place between 2016-2017, costing the NHS almost £43 million.  This is a massive cost for an almost entirely preventable condition.

Whilst there are many Government initiatives taking place to improve these shocking statistics, an area that has been previously overlooked is when a child is admitted to hospital for an overnight stay. This is an invaluable opportunity to make every point of contact count.

Aligning itself with the original/adult Mouth Care Matters is an arm of this initiative that has been named “Mini Mouth Care Matters” (MiniMCM) which is being funded by Health Education England.

Mini MCM aims to empower medical and allied medical healthcare professionals to take ownership of the oral health care of any paediatric in-patient with a hospital stay of more than 24 hours.

We will be developing an oral health screening tool to identify patients who may be at a high risk of developing dental decay, which has been shown to lead to long-term detrimental effects in children leading to pain, sepsis and compromised growth & development. We hope to roll out a training package (like MCM) which will encourage all nursing, medical and health care professionals to “lift the lip” and identify common oral health/dental conditions. We hope the training will encourage them to include oral health care as part of basic general health care needs for all in-patients.

A simple measure to ask if a patient has brought their toothbrush with them (and if not- to provide one) may make all the difference to how the oral health of that patient is maintained whilst in a hospital setting, with a view to continue good OH practices at home.

Mini MCM is being developed and led by Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children working in collaboration with Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Aim for National Roll Out early 2019 will include training for interested Trusts, and the development of a range of tools applicable to paediatric in-patients that can be used by all hospitals hoping to join Mini MCM, including posters, booklets and baseline audit tools.

If you are a Trust interested in being a part of this exciting initiative, we would be happy to register your interest for the Mini MCM by emailing the address below.

General enquiries:   minimouthcarematters@hee.nhs.uk