Transforming Oral Health in Care Homes (TOrCH)

Sherriff, A. and Ross, A. (2015) Transforming Oral Health in Care Homes (TOrCH). In: 20th Congress of the European Association of Dental Public Health (EADPH 2015), Istanbul, Turkey, 17-19 Sep 2015,

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


In some developed countries government policy supports efforts towards ‘ageing in place’, which enable older people to remain independent for as long as possible. However, this means that in many cases, people are being admitted into long-term care at a more advanced age than in previous years, in the most frail and dependent conditions, and with complex health care needs. How to deliver high quality, affordable long-term care for the emerging population of older people who require it has become one of the defining challenges for policy makers and service providers worldwide. In an ageing population, rates of edentulousness are decreasing, posing a challenge to those providing daily oral care to the oldest and most frail in society. Caring for Smiles (CfS) is a national training package for care home staff in Scotland that offers best practice guidance for carers to deliver daily oral care to individuals unable to undertake this independently. Ensuring that such guidance is translated into practice to improve and sustain health and quality of life outcomes for residents of care homes requires a multi-level, multidisciplinary, mixed methods approach. Transforming Oral Health in Care Homes (TOrCH) is a programme of research based within the Scottish Oral Health Research Collaboration ( and informed by the MRC framework for developing Complex Interventions. The overarching aim of TOrCH is to inform the development of a theoretical, evidence-based, practical and effective complex intervention(s) to support the translation of CfS guidance into practice. A number of studies are underway within TOrCH to (i) identify the evidence base for effective strategies for implementing guidance (ii) understand the barriers and enablers to implementing CfS guidance at the policy, organisation, systems, management, staff, family and resident levels (iii) test the feasibility of collecting clinical and psychological outcome data to measure the effectiveness of any future intervention and (iv) forecast future trends in oral and general health to aid with service development, future treatment and daily oral care needs. The outcome of this development work will be a multi-centre scientifically robust evaluation of a theory-driven, evidence-based complex intervention to support the implementation of CfS guidance in care homes across the Scotland and the UK. It is anticipated that this approach, although initially applied to daily oral care will have wider applicability to other areas of care of older people both in care homes and in the community.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Keywords:Dental Public Health
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sherriff, Professor Andrea and Ross, Dr Alastair
Authors: Sherriff, A., and Ross, A.
Subjects:R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RK Dentistry
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Dental School
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record