Cleft palate diagnostic models have been funded for the South West Cleft Service team based at Bristol Dental Hospital and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children to improve care for newborns.

Currently 30% of cleft palates in newborns are missed. The models will be used as a teaching aid so staff members are equipped with the skills to make diagnoses within the newborn period. 

Earlier diagnosis will prevent unnecessary stress to parents and mean that alternative feeding plans will be established quickly in order to avoid difficulties that can arise when trying to breast and bottle feed. 

The cleft palate diagnostic models have been a great practical teaching aid. We use them to reinforce how to visualise the palate of a newborn in line with the new guidance and learning resources provided by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

- Cathy Marsh, Lead Specialist Nurse, South West cleft unit, Bristol Dental Hospital 

The models will be used at all stages of cleft care by members of the team ranging from nurses, speech and language therapist and surgeons.

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