The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Clinical Excellence Network for Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies (National)

The Cleft Clinical Excellence Network (CEN) is a national group, founded in 1987 by Christine Huskie who ran the group until 1990 when its organisation was passed to Dr Jane Russell. In 1992 management of CEN was passed to a committee. In 2014 the decision was made to change the name from a Special Interest Group (SIG) to a Clinical Excellence Network (CEN), in line with national RCSLT guidelines and to more accurately reflect the core purpose of the group.

We facilitate professional development for Speech and Language Therapists with an interest in cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies.

The Cleft CEN provides opportunities for networking, support and sharing information and evidence-based. The client group includes adults and children with a cleft palate, a craniofacial anomaly or a speech disorder arising from velopharyngeal dysfunction.

Aims of the Cleft CEN

  • To provide opportunities for Continuing Professional Development (CDP)
  • To respond to issues on behalf of RCSLT at their request
  • To exchange and discuss information concerning the client group
  • To improve standards of care for the client group on a national basis
  • To promote advances in speech and language therapy management of this client group, including discussion of new equipment and techniques from national and international sources
  • To provide peer support for speech and language therapists working with this client group
  • To encourage members to undertake and participate in research/audit projects and share their findings
  • To provide some financial support for members to attend conferences/study days related to cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies.

Two study days are arranged by the Cleft CEN each year:

  • The first is linked to the annual conference of The Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland and will include the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which usually takes place in the Spring
  • The second usually takes place in the Autumn and members have the benefit of an ‘members only rate’

Cleft CEN membership is open to members of the Royal Collage of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT). SLTs may work directly with this client group or be interested in this as a specialist area. There is an annual subscription.

Honorary membership is occasionally given to those who have made a significant contribution to this client group.

To find out more, read the full Cleft CEN Constitution.