We aim to provide long-term, sustainable ways to bridge the gap in cleft care and knowledge in the UK and overseas

Reflections on research in speech and language therapy

As part of CLEFT's launch to become a CIO, Debbie Sell recorded 'Reflections on research in speech and language therapy'. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from one the country's most recognised researchers in speech and language therapy share her thoughts on this fascinating subject.


Author: Melanie Baldwin

A parent's story

Andrew Steel is father to Alanna (pictured above) who is currently preparing to go off to university. Alanna's childhood has been a happy one but she has undergone many operations to fix her cleft palate. This is their story...


Author: Melanie Baldwin

Sulaimania's first multi-disciplinary cleft team

Sulaimania's troubled past means that there are many children and adults with untreated clefts or with clefts that have been operated on inadequately. Click the link above to read further and watch our new film by Paul Whittaker to see what the situation is there and how the team copes.


Author: Melanie Baldwin

A podcast on UK cleft provision

David Sainsbury is a Consultant Cleft and Plastic Surgeon in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and a CLEFT trustee and is interviewed by Rachel Lapham, a CLEFT volunteer, who also has a repaired cleft lip and palate. This fascinating podcast gives a really good insight into what cleft provision is like in the UK.


Author: Melanie Baldwin

Our impact

1 in 700

children are born with a cleft palate.


the cost of a cleft operation on a baby in a low-income country.


cost to give treatment over a lifetime.

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Breakthroughs in cleft research

  • VPI Paper in Cleft Palate Craniofacial Journal

    The American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Journal reviewed literature on palate re-repair for the treatment of velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) and cited the Sommerlad Protocol and Palate Repair technique of VPI as being very beneficial to patients with an 84% success rate. Read more

  • The value of research to cleft professionals and patients

    Chair of the CLEFT Research Steering Group, Rona Slator, is interviewed here by Tracy Morris on the value of research into cleft lip and palate. Read more

  • The genetics of cleft lip and palate

    Investigations into the genetics of cleft lip and palate to understand more about why cleft lip and palate occurs. Read more

  • TBX22 Mouse Model

    CLEFT has funded research into the investigation of a gene called the TBX22 that regulates important development events during normal palate function, in order to find new treatments. Read more