Mouth Care Matters (MCM) is a training initiative aimed at improving the oral health of hospitalised patients. Poor oral health can lead to a deterioration in general health.
Hospitalisation changes an individual’s routine, causing stress and anxiety due to discomfort, resulting in a lack of motivation to carry out routine oral hygiene habits. In cases where a patient has cognitive or physical limitations, maintaining healthy oral habits often become of greater difficulty and oral hygiene may deteriorate.
Whilst part of KSS AHSN, the team was commissioned by Health Education England to evaluate the impact of the MCM project, from its pilot phase to its spread across Kent, Surrey, and Sussex. The team also modelled the potential financial outcomes of a national roll-out.
Our evaluation showed that across Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, the MCM programme was estimated to deliver tangible value of £2.66 of benefits within the health care system for every £1 invested in the project. A further £17 was identified in social benefits for every £1 invested.
The positive financial impact indicated by the national spread scenario was instrumental in securing additional funding from Health Education England to support a national roll-out. The MCM team has now trained over 100 Trusts across the UK, and has developed child-centred training and resources to target paediatric oral-health needs.
Our analysis provided evidence to enable further commissioning from Health Education England to support the scaling-up of MCM from the Kent, Surrey, Sussex region to nation-wide.
As a result of the MCM evaluation, the team were commissioned to produce a cost benefit analysis for Senior Smiles, a programme using a preventative model of oral health care for people living in nursing homes in Australia. The analysis modelled the pilot, current implementation, and scenarios exploring regional and national spread.
The health economics evaluation provided the programme with an estimation of economic impact, which is a compelling argument when approaching the public sector dental services in Australia. It has also provided valuable information to the current Royal Commission into Aged Care in Australia.