A small multi-disaplinary working group was set up in SaTH last year to improve mouth care for all. Mouth care is essential for the health and well being of patients, despite its importance It is often not done well in a hospital setting.
After months of the working group meeting up discussing the equipment currently used and new equipment available, sharing ideas and learning from the group it came apparent that even when you have the right staff in the group, busy roles took over and a policy seemed a long way off.
An opportunity arose from an external source to fund the senior hygienist to work with the End of Life Care Facilitator for half a day a week for a few months both were members of the working group and driving the change forward.
This allocated time allowed regular meetings to take place, the policy started to develop, audits on wards took place to audit current practice, changes to equipment were introduced and feedback gained, a short film made on the procedure of assessing and carrying out mouth care, now in September 2017 we are ready to take the policy to the policy approval group later this month after many drafts and feedback from staff at the Trust.
A training programme is planned and the launch of the policy in November during Fab Change Week.
Lots of staff have helped along the way, the remaining members of the working group have been including throughout the developments & support this work in their role day to day, the end of life care facilitator & temporary role of end of life care specialist nurse (externally funded) share this knowledge and experience in training and when on the wards supporting staff and relatives care for end of life patients at the hardest of times.
Mouth care will also be included in the 2 day programme for End of Life Care Volunteers as the volunteers will be taught to support staff and relative with mouth care.
I have learnt so much from working with the wonderful Jackie Shelock Senior Hygienist, the support from her manager has been instrumental in making this project happen.
Thank you to the end of life care specialist nurse for supporting & backfilling me to take on this important project. Claire Saxby our wonderful Speech and Language Therapist, Lara Evans CPE, Steph Jones Corporate Nursing Education, the Ward Staff that helped with the audit and gave us feedback on changes to equipment, and Ian Roth our Medical Photographer. A big thank you to Jackie Sherlock and her team for all their input making this happen.
Jackie and I are now excited to be planning the launch of the policy, this will include sharing it with ward staff, awareness & equipment, short training sessions with key information, highlighting staff to the film and were it can be found and of course this will be included in our fab change week chatterbox special edition thanks to our wonderful communications team Richard and Dave.
Making it happen, proud to care and together we achieve. #mouthcarematters
Jules Lewis End of Life Care Facilitator & Fab Ambassador at Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital (SaTH) & Jackie Sherlock Senior Hygenist at SaTH (Photo of key members of the working group – Jackie, Lara and Claire)