During the second wave of the pandemic hundreds of nurses have been redeployed at The Royal London to help treat and care for patients affected by Covid-19.
This includes our dental teams, who have had much of their routine dental work put on hold. To help support the trust’s effort, they have been delivering the Mouth Care Matters programme to patients at the bedside.
Lead dental nurse Tracey Knight, who has been redeployed to the hospital’s medical wards said: “We have spent lots of time on the wards helping patients clean their teeth and dentures, providing supplies, arranging dental assessments and helping staff to become confident brushing difficult to access mouths.
“We have adapted along the way to help with other tasks too, such as hair washing, and we have done our best to help fill the void left by not being able to have visitors. All these things help patients to feel more like themselves.”
Tracey said that it’s been a challenging but rewarding period: “It has been a journey full of ups and downs, as I am sure it has been for many staff. I have been extremely sad and at the same time incredibly uplifted at the way our hospital has pulled together to do their very best under the most difficult of circumstances.”
The work of the team has been well received, with patient Hetty writing a poem for dental nurse Angela Bolton and lead dental nurses Barbara Davies and Tracey Knight (pictured).
My sincere thanks to you
You should be proud
I want to shout out loud
You clean my teeth
Style my hair
I ask for books and they are always there
I wish you all the best of health
That in itself is better than wealth
When you are 91
I hope you find, some lovely nurses
Who are so kind
By Hetty Goodwin, patient on 13C
Tracey concluded: “Good oral health is so important for a patient’s quality of life, dignity and is an essential part of patient care. It is a service that we hope to be able to continue trust-wide - watch this space!”