Domiciliary care is a service provided that allows people to remain in their home, whilst still receiving assistance with their personal care needs.
If a dental practice offers domiciliary care services then a number of policies and procedures will need to be organised in order to ensure a smooth running and safe service for both staff and patients.
Similar to most dental services, it will require at least one dentist and one dental nurse to attend the appointment; however it may sometimes include an additional hygienist or therapist.
Where the service to be provided is predominately related to oral hygiene and dental disease, the team can be made up of one hygienist and one dental nurse, a dentist may not be required to attend.
No matter which team member attends the visit, each team member must be able to transfer their professional standards and skills to a non-clinical environment.
When attending Domiciliary visit’s it is important that dental care professionals have a good understanding of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA), and are provided with Safeguarding training.
Decisions about the persons care and treatment are much more complex when the individual does not have the ability to make the decision for themselves. Dental care professionals (DCP) should always assume that a person has capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity. When a DCP is unsure if a person has capacity they should always follow the five principles of MCA.
There are five principles of MCA
Dental care professionals should always remember the individuals dignity and respect, and obtain the appropriate level of consent before proceeding with any treatment.
Guidelines for the Delivery of a Domiciliary Oral Healthcare Service
The acronym ‘CAMPING’ is used within British Society for Disability and Oral Health – Guidelines for the Delivery of a Domiciliary Oral Healthcare Service to highlight the key skills required to deliver an effective domiciliary oral healthcare service.
CAMPING stands for:
Preparation prior to the initial visit must take place. The practice should ensure the appropriate paperwork is in place, and that both the clinician and patient are aware of the process.
1. Telephone ahead to clarify the reason for attending. A telephone tick list may be helpful to ensure all areas are covered. This tick list may include:
2. If telephone contact cannot be made, contact via writing i.e. letter/email. Include instructions on how the patient can make last minute contact with the dental care professional’s if required.
3. Health and Safety considerations:
*The CQC expect all dental practices to undertake a full risk assessment before carrying out treatment. This includes:
The British Society for Disability and Oral Health have also published a risk assessment template.
During domiciliary care often dental care professionals will be working in a non-clinical area. However a clean work area should be maintained as far as reasonably practicable.
Clinical waste should be disposed of in accordance with local rules:
All policies and procedures in the practice for control of infection will apply to domiciliary procedures in the same way as for clinic-based procedures.
The equipment and general kit to be selected for a domiciliary visit should be assessed based on the following:
Organising domiciliary kits into sub-kits is a great method to ensure everything required is in place, kept clean, fit for use and limiting the weight of kit for transportation.
British Society for Disability and Oral Health – Guidelines for the Delivery of a Domiciliary Oral Healthcare Service under appendix 9 offers a guide to the organisation of domiciliary kits into sub-kits. These are also listed below.
Oxygen should be transported in line with ‘Transporting Oxygen Cyclinders’ provided by the department of transport. Small quantities of medical gases are not currently covered under any specific regulations, however suppliers may recommend carrying a transport emergency card (TREM Card).
If instruments are transported off the premises on a public highway, those who are responsible for the transportation should follow the requirements of the Carriage of Dangerous Good and Use in Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2007 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Instruments being transported must be part of a consignment note, and records should be kept of:
The consignment note should be placed visibly within the vehicle the instruments are being transported in, and a contact telephone number should be available.
This is to provide evidence and an audit trail for record keeping purposes.
For dental practices in Scotland, Health Protection Scotland states that appropriate labelling should be in place when transporting through public access areas, but it does not stipulate the requirement of a consignment note . The labelling should indicate:
All dental practices must have a policy and protocol on the transportation of instruments, detailing segregation of contaminated and clean instruments, staff must be aware of this documentation.
Due to carrying contaminated instruments the dental care professional must ensure their indemnity insurance covers this activity.
Guidance documents request that dedicated transport boxes are used which are:
Transportation boxes should be clearly marked to identify the contents, either contaminated or clean instruments. A colour coding scheme is often preferred to distinguish between contaminated and clean instruments transportation, however it is still advisable that they are clearly labelled.
Transportation boxes are not interchangeable. This mean that’s a box designated to carry contaminated instruments cannot then become the transport box for clean instruments, and vice versa.
Transport boxes are required to be kept visibly clean, this can be achieved through a single disinfectant wipe or washing the boxes with detergent and leaving to dry. Transport boxes should be cleaned between each use or when visibly dirty.