Baby after corrective surgery

Cleft Lip and Palate Service

Our service is a twin site service with paediatric facilities at our Children’s hospital and adult facilities at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. We see at least 125 new babies every year, making us one of the largest centres in the country. Our multidisciplinary cleft team consists of specialist nurses, cleft surgeons, speech and language therapists, orthodontists, a paediatric dentist, ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeons, audiologists, psychologists, a maxillofacial surgeon and a geneticist.

Admission and care

Children are currently admitted to three surgical wards (Wards 5, 9 and the Neonatal Surgical Unit) at the Children’s hospital, according to their age and the reason for their admission.

To reduce disruption to our young patients’ education and to prevent families travelling long distances, we organise a large multidisciplinary paediatric clinic in our main outpatients department to bring together all the team members who can best care for their individual needs. Wherever possible speech therapy, orthodontic, dental and ENT treatment is carried out locally within the district services. Networks are being built up across the region in each discipline to facilitate local care.

Research

The West Midlands Cleft Team is heavily involved in exciting research activities. For some of these we are working with the University of Birmingham and other regional cleft centres that are pushing the boundaries of cleft care nationally and internationally. The outcomes from these studies are regularly presented and published and the unit has won numerous prizes and research grants.

The regional service

A multidisciplinary cleft service has existed at our Children's hospital for 25 years. The regional service developed as a result of a national reorganisation of cleft care. The current service provides a wide range of specialist care and has developed close links with locally provided cleft care. Further development is on-going to provide a fully comprehensive service to all children and adults with clefts of the lip and/or palate in the West Midlands. An adult clinic is held each month in the maxillofacial department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Contact

cleft.services@bch.nhs.uk, 0121 333 8235