No outcomes for aged care project?

After a successful project, why is the Government keeping mum on the outcomes?

Whatever happened to the results of the government’s Better Oral Health in Residential Care project? The ‘train-the-trainers’ project, designed to deliver better oral health outcomes in residents of aged care facilities, was embraced by the aged are profession two years ago. But a report in Aged Care Insite points out the government is refusing the disclose any outcomes of the program.

The report points out that the government remains silent despite the fact that all the registered training organisations (RTOs) that delivered it were required to submit detailed reports to the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA).

In terms of next steps, Adrienne Lewis of SA Dental Service told the magazine that accreditation standards should be aligned with the four processes of the training model. This would ensure it became continuing education and was part of induction of new staff, she said.

“The alignment to the accreditation standards are a way of embedding this so it’s ongoing,” she said.

In response, chief executive of Aged Care Association Australia (ACAA) Rod Young said he didn’t have a problem with the day-to-day management of oral health being a requirement, but was against clinical outcomes being tied to accreditation.

“They come to us with a hugely difficult dental history and profile and all of a sudden the aged care service gets responsible for 30 years of dental neglect,” Young told INsite.

“That becomes impossible to manage if you put it in accreditation and say now you have to return this person’s teeth to a state as if they’re a 30- or 40-year-old.”

“A person’s oral hygiene, nonetheless, should be part of our overall clinical objectives and part of accreditation.”


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