Hcsuk helping you to achieve latest best practice guidance on mouthcare for residents with COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19

The importance of good oral care in care settings has been in the spotlight since NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) published guidance over 3 years ago, and this has now become a priority with the Care Quality Commission. There is mounting evidence that shows an association between poor oral hygiene and a wide variety of illnesses including Pneumonia.

Therefore supporting mouthcare for residents who are unwell with COVID-19, or symptoms, is an important part of their overall patient care.

Here at Hcsuk, we set out the latest best practice guidance from Public Health England and guide you through our fit for purpose oral care product range helping you to give your residents the best possible mouthcare to improve their health and wellbeing.

If oral hygiene is neglected, residents’ mouths will rapidly become dry and sore. The aim of good mouthcare is to maintain oral cleanliness, prevent additional infection and reduce the likelihood of developing bacterial pneumonia.

On admission, it is important to include an oral assessment for each resident in their care plan.

When providing mouthcare for residents with COVID19 staff must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent contact and droplet transmission. This means wearing disposable gloves, plastic apron, eye protection and a fluid resistant face mask. Delivering mouthcare is not an aerosol generating procedure. However, the environment you are working in may require the use of enhanced PPE (e.g. if working where patients are ventilated.)

Two additional really useful tools to have handy when delivering oral care are a pen torch to enable you to see properly what is happening inside your resident’s mouth (which can be a dark place) and also a Bedi Shield designed to help facilitate oral care with dignity and in a safe, efficient and unobtrusive manner.

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Mouthcare for non-ventilated residents

• if residents are having oxygen via a face mask, check with the nurse in charge before removing this for the time needed to carry out mouthcare

• assess your resident and consider if they can brush their own teeth, or if you need to help them to keep their mouth moist and clean

• these residents are more likely to cough when performing mouth care, be gentle, stand to the side or behind them, take breaks to allow the patient to rest and swallow

• if possible, sit your resident upright

• if your resident has a dry mouth, encourage sips of fluid (unless nil by mouth), hydrate with a toothbrush or an oral swab dipped in water or apply available dry mouth gel to their tongue, inside of their cheeks and roof of their mouth using an oral cleanser

• make sure your resident’s lips are kept moist with a nourishing lip balm particularly before cleaning

• if your resident can brush their own teeth give them a soft, small headed toothbrush with a smear of non-foaming toothpaste

• do not use an electric toothbrush as this may cause droplets and splash

• if your resident can spit, give them a disposable bowl to spit into

• if your resident is unable to spit and bedside suction is available, and you are trained to use it, then use gentle oral suctioning to remove excess saliva and toothpaste

• after brushing rinse their brush, and store with their toothpaste in a sealed named container

• if a resident has false teeth (dentures) encourage them to remove these after meals to clean off debris with a toothbrush. Remove dentures at night and store dry, in a named denture pot.

• residents may not wish to wear dentures when unwell and it is important that they are stored in a named denture pot to avoid them getting lost

• if eating, encourage residents to have a few sips of water after meals to clear any left-over food from their mouth

• if a resident is confused, refuses, or resists care, stop and try again later, remembering to record any non-compliance in their care plan.

To try and help make life easier for you during what must be both an incredibly busy and stressful time for care managers we have put together a COVID-19 Complete Oral Care Solution Pack which contains everything you need, as described above to deliver effective oral care for your residents with COVID-19, or suspected COVID-19 in one hygienic and reusable plastic box.

Explore the COVID-19 Complete Oral Care Solution Pack

This guidance outlines mouthcare for adults and children with COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 who are non-ventilated and those having step down or end of life care.

If you would like any further information, assistance or samples of any of our oral care products included in this article, then please don’t hesitate to contact our Business Development Manager Jan Kelly on her mobile 07968 994660 or email her at jan@hcsuk.co.uk

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Customer Testimonials

“We’ve built a strong working relationship with Hcsuk over many years, having used them to source, install and service our medical training equipment. We have always found the team very professional, helpful, and well-organised. We’d like to give a particular shout out to Phil, the technician / engineer who has been the consistent friendly face visiting our business to inspect and test our mobility hoists every 6 months. Thank you for all your support and advice.”

P. B. (Care Manager), Blue Bird Care Ltd

You are part of a great company, if we can help you grow by contracting you out to our sites its good for you, but it’s great for us because your service is fantastic, very efficient, everyone within Hcsuk is super helpful in answering queries and every time we’ve had an issue, Hcsuk has always been there to solve the problem almost immediately, which is fantastic.

Leicestershire County Council

Truly exceptional levels of customer service, the best I have experienced for many years. Very helpful staff made follow up calls to ask how the equipment was performing and supplied extra user instructions to supplement the manufacturers manual. I would not hesitate to order from this company again.

Savills Estate Agents

We would just like to pass on our thanks for all of your help with our orders and would be pleased if you would also pass on our thanks to the manufacturers for being so accommodating in meeting our requirements. We have found everyone very helpful.

Lincs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Since I set up the account for Hcsuk over 18 months ago I have found them to be an excellent advocate of our products. They have been willing to learn about the technical and servicing elements to our hoists and the sales staff have really taken on board and proactively promoted our range where possible. I feel that as a company Hcsuk have got the desire and right people in place for growing in this competitive industry. They seem to push themselves to go that little bit further and offer that little bit more to stand out from the rest. May our relationship continue going from strength to strength.

Joerns Healthcare

As a care home manager I have used Hcsuk for my supplies for the last 20 years in two homes. I have always found them to be helpful and reliable. Their products are of the highest standards, they are able to source anything. The delivery service is prompt and regular so I do not have to keep large amounts of stock. They supply extra services such as servicing and repairs which are done efficiently, and training in COSHH. The reps are pleasant and helpful bringing new products to my attention but are never ”pushy”. Aftercare is good, any problems soon sorted. I would recommend them highly and would not think of using anyone else.

Littleover Nursing Home

HPC have supplied Hcsuk (Health Care Services Ltd) for well over a decade now and we would consider them to be a high quality and professional business run in an organised and progressive manor. We do not rank our customers or have a preferred customer status but if we were to introduce such a scheme I can confirm that Hcsuk would easily make such a grade.

HPC Healthline

As a manufacturer we look for key values in a distributor some of these include honesty, reliability, commitment and reputation. Hcsuk carry all of these and many more. With a twenty plus year working relationship we now place Jo and the team at the top of our distributor list. I have no hesitation in recommending Hcsuk to any prospective manufacturer or customer and wish Jo and the team all the best for the future.

Cleenol Group Ltd

It is brilliant that we are able to ring Health Care Services and that you will go the extra mile to get us the stock we need as soon as possible.

Rykneld View Nursing Home

Just to say a huge thankyou to you and your fantastic team, and I mean that from the Heart. I have never before experienced such a person centred company.

Hampton Grange Nursing Home

What I like about working with Health Care Services is the relationship we have built up and the personal service. The homes report that you always deliver on time, the quality is consistantly good and the prices competitive. Your team members are always willing to go that extra mile for us and if ever we have an issue there is always someone there to save the day.

Eastgate Care

VAT Relief Information

Conditions for VAT relief for disabled people

Some of the products which can be purchased from the Hcsuk website are available for an eligible person to purchase without paying VAT on them. HM Revenue and Customs sets out the conditions when equipment for disabled people might be free of VAT and how to claim exemption from paying VAT on these products.

Products a can only be exempt from VAT when all the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer is eligible to purchase supplies at the zero rate
  2. The goods are for the personal or domestic use of the customer
  3. The goods and services are eligible to be supplied at the zero rate

A more detailed explanation of each of these conditions is given below, but you should visit the HM Revenue and Customs Website to fully understand the conditions

The product must be being purchased for someone who is chronically ill or disabled.

A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person:

It does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.

‘personal or domestic’ use means that the supply must be made available specifically for the use of an eligible individual.

You don’t have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian or wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you won’t be charged VAT.

What counts as personal or domestic use?

Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes. Also, the goods or services must be just for your own use – not for use by anyone else, or chronically sick or disabled people in general. However, if you and your partner are both chronically sick or disabled and you buy goods or services for both of you to use, then you won’t have to pay VAT.

Products which are offered for sale on this website which qualify for VAT relief to be claimed for an eligible person.

The products which can be bought without paying VAT are:

Only the products on our site carrying the VAT exemption price (the smaller price marked ex VAT) are eligible to be purchased this way and you must tick the box on the basket page indicating that you wish to claim VAT exemption on the items in your basket that are eligible for VAT relief.

How to claim

On the my basket page of this website a link to the online declaration form is provided if the basket contains a product that qualifies for VAT relief. You must tick the box to state you wish to claim VAT relief on the eligible product and complete in full the reason by which you are ‘chronically sick or disabled’ and name and address of the claimant. If possible the person making the claim should complete this form, but a family member, carer or medical professional may complete the form on the claimants behalf. To submit the claim and receive the VAT relief, click the ‘Submit VAT Relief Claim’ button before proceeding to the checkout.

Please note that all orders submitted with a VAT relief claim form completed are checked before the order is processed.

It is necessary to complete a separate claim form each time a qualifying product is purchased from Hcsuk.


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