I first became involved with cleft patients here at The London Hospital, as it was then, back in the 90’s. I worked with the head of Speech and Language Therapy, developing an instrument to help to test the aspects of the quality of speech as therapy progressed. This instrument, along with analysis of movement of the soft palate during speech, became my PhD project that I successfully completed in 1995. Since then the collaboration with Brian Sommerlad has continued to this day  and has now moved into the use of MRI to assess palatal function.

CLEFT have been tremendously supportive to this research effort. Specifically, the charity has funded a PhD studentship that was completed in 2018 and that work has substantially improved our understanding of how MRI is best applied in the clinical assessment of the cleft palate.