The Cleft National Service Specification expects all referrals for new babies and antenatal referrals to be responded to within 24 hours of that referral. Therefore all antenatal referrals and postnatal/neonatal referrals are regarded as urgent.
Antenatal and postnatal referrals should be made by telephone only, by calling 07548 152 738.
This new system commenced on 10 February 2020. This replaced the previous system whereby referrers contacted individual Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS).
Following antenatal diagnosis, the ultrasound department will refer to the South Thames Cleft Service using the referral number above; the CNS aims to make contact with the family within 24 hours.
If a baby is born with a cleft lip and/or palate, the ward staff on the maternity unit will refer to the South Thames Cleft Service using the referral number above. The CNS will make contact with the maternity unit to arrange to visit, carry out a feeding assessment and develop a management plan with parents, medical and nursing/midwifery staff.
Occasionally, referrals for older infants (up to the age of 1 year) may be made by a GP or health visitor. GP referrals now need to be made through the e-RS booking system. Parents may ask their GP or Health Visitor to make a referral if there are signs of a cleft.
The CNS team provide an on-call service 365 days a year, including bank holidays, for antenatal and postnatal referrals. The CNS team is contacted for new referrals on 07548 152 738.