Improving service provision
We seek to ensure the dental healthcare needs of homeless people can be addressed by a mixture of mainstream and dedicated provision that:
- acknowledges the special needs of homeless people
- is flexible (in terms of locations, opening hours, etc)
- has a combination of conventional location and outreach provision
- includes integrated, multidisciplinary service provision and coordinated case management to deal with the individual's needs
- draws on appropriate clinical expertise
- enables homeless people, wherever possible, to use mainstream dental services.
sectors of dentistry have a part to play in providing services for
homeless people - provided that training and funding issues are properly
- Where appropriate, local needs assessments
should be carried out by NHS primary care organisations, in all the
constituent countries of the UK, to gauge the extent of unmet need for
dental care among homeless people in each area and facilitate the
planning of provision.
- Primary Care organisations in England
should look realistically at the role to be played by General Dental
Practitioners and the Community Dental Service in delivering dentistry
to homeless people within the integrated model of primary care dental
- The curricula for
dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists (and the occupational
standards for dental nurses) should make explicit reference to gaining
experience of working with socially excluded groups, including homeless
- More needs to be done to alert homeless people
and the people working with them to dental health issues and to inform
them of ways they can access dental healthcare services.
Suggestions for further research
is a need for more clinical research on the oral and dental health of
homeless people - particularly groups other than rough-sleepers.
- There is a need for research on homeless people's use of emergency services for dental conditions.
systematic and quantitative research is needed into the appropriate
clinical mode of treatment for homeless people in different settings
(one-off care vs the drawing up of a treatment plan).
health issues, such as stress and burnout among clinicians and others
working with homeless people (primarily those with challenging
behaviour), need to be researched more.
Read our report on dental care for homeless people.
Read our blogs on our work on treating vulnerable patients.