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Booth Hall Children’s Hospital Recognised as Specialist Centre

Children and young people across the North West who need treatment for cleft lip and palate difficulties will now benefit from the skills and expertise of a single team of clinicians working at Booth Hall Children’s Hospital as well as Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. Following a four month period of consultation with a large number of Primary Care Trusts across the region the decision was made yesterday which will help determine the shape of this important service. Around 150 new children each year in the north west of England, north Wales and the Isle of Man are referred for some form of care and treatment for cleft lip and palate. Young people may need treatment into early adult life and the services provided will ensure a smooth transition of their care. The consultation involved feedback from patients, parents, MPs, local councils and NHS professionals, who showed support for the service to be brought under the control of a single, highly specialised team who would establish high standards of service. Len Richards, Director of Children’s Services for Booth Hall Children’s Hospital said: “This decision is consistent with the way we would like to see the service develop as it maintains a very specialist and high quality service in Manchester. In addition it facilitates greater collaboration between ourselves and Alder Hey which will ensure that there is a high quality service available across the North West and North Wales” Professor Bill Shaw, Consultant Orthodontist at the University Dental Hospital of Manchester added: “The service in Manchester has been at the forefront of the management of cleft lip and palate services both in this country and abroad. We have contributed to many international research projects. This decision will enable expertise and knowledge to be available across the North West.” David Regan, Director of the Manchester Joint Health Fund commented: “This is great news for children and families across Greater Manchester and fits perfectly with our efforts to develop a fully integrated health and social care service for children in Manchester.” It is expected that changes to the service will begin during 2004.