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South Thames cleft service referrals

Referrals for all new babies should be made by contacting the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) by phone. Please see the antenatal and postnatal referrals section for a list of local CNS phone numbers.

NHS GP Referrals

All referrals are to be submitted using the NHS e-Referrals service (formerly Choose and Book) – we no longer accept emailed referrals. Referrals sent to the nhs.net mailbox or by post from GPs will not be processed. Should you require advice about a patient, please use the advice and guidance facility through e-RS.

Non GP and tertiary referrals

Tertiary referrals and non GP referrals, e.g., from health visitor can be emailed to cleft.gstt@nhs.net.

Referrals can be addressed for the attention of the cleft consultant surgeon, speech and language therapist, clinical psychologist, consultant paediatric dentist or orthodontist, or clinical nurse specialist

How to refer

Antenatal and postnatal referrals

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.

For all children over one year of age/adult referrals

NHS GP Referrals

All referrals are to be submitted using the NHS e-Referrals service (formerly Choose and Book) – we no longer accept emailed referrals. Referrals sent to the nhs.net mailbox or by post from GPs will not be processed. Should you require advice about a patient, please use the advice and guidance facility through e-RS.

Non GP and tertiary referrals

Tertiary referrals and non GP referrals, e.g., from health visitor can be emailed to cleft.gstt@nhs.net.

Speech and language therapy referrals

This is a tertiary service that accepts referrals for cleft patients and for patients where there is concern that velopharyngeal function for speech may not be working correctly. Concerns may include an overly nasal tone of voice, unusual speech patterns and accompanying nasal airflow when talking.

We accept referrals from any agency within the south east region including GPs, speech and language therapists, paediatricians, and ear, nose and throat (ENT) consultants.

To refer we require a written referral letter outlining the case history and presenting speech difficulties that are causing concern. For GP referrals please request through ERS, any other referrals please email the letter to cleft.gstt@nhs.net.

We are happy to discuss referrals over the phone if you are unsure. The service can be contacted by phone on 020 7188 1321 and ask for the lead speech and language therapist.

Orthodontist/paediatric dentistry

Children with a cleft lip and/or palate are introduced to the orthodontist and paediatric dentist when they come to the multi-disciplinary cleft palate clinics.

It is not usual for a child to be referred directly but requests for second opinions can be sent in and, where appropriate, treatment may be provided by a local dentist. More commonly, orthodontic care will be provided by a hospital-based consultant. Please send dental and orthodontic referrals by email to cleft.gstt@nhs.net or through the ERS patient led booking system for GP referrals.

Referral contacts

Antenatal and children up to 2 years of age

Referrals by telephone only

Cleft clinical nurse specialist:
Tel: 07884 182756

Children over 2 years of age and adults

We now only accept GP referrals through the ERS booking system.

Email: cleft.gstt@nhs.net

Post:
South Thames cleft service

1st floor, Staircase C,
South Wing
St Thomas' Hospital
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH

©  Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.
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