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Children to get behind the lens for Cleft Palate information DVD 

A grant made to the Stars Appeal by BBC Children In Need is enabling children with cleft lip and palate at the Spires Cleft Centre to enjoy a unique opportunity to make their own information DVD and help other children who will need an operation.   

The operation is called an alveolar bone graft and corrects the cleft in the jaw bone. The DVD will include the experiences of children who have already had the operation between 8 and 12 years of age.  The aim is that their experiences will help reduce the worry that some children and their families have before the operation.   

Steve Robinson, Clinical Director for the Spires Cleft Centre based at Salisbury District Hospital and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, said:  “Most children will have already had their first cleft lip and palate operation as a baby, and will need further operations. As the children get older, however, they are more aware of what is happening to them, which can cause anxiety for the children and an additional worry for the family. By using other children’s experiences we can reassure the children and their families and give them all a better understanding of the operation and what it will involve.” 

The project is being funded by a grant made to Salisbury District Hospital’s Charity, the Stars Appeal, by BBC Children In Need. Bournemouth based independent film production company White Lantern Film was brought onboard to work with the children so that they can produce a fun filled, informative DVD together. 

The project is being led by Dr Jane Lewendon, Clinical Psychologist, and Sandra Treslove, Speech and Language Therapist.

Jane Lewendon said:  “We have just held our first workshop where children and the production company started work gathering experiences to be used in the DVD. The children really enjoyed the opportunity to get involved and to get to grips with planning and producing an information DVD. The project is already giving them a new experience and we hope that the DVD will be finished and ready for us to use by the end of the year.” 


Notes to Editors:

  1.  Around one in 700 babies a year are born with cleft lip and palate.  Cleft lip or cleft lip and palate is due to the failure of the fusing process in the lip, palate and mouth early in foetal development. This can cause facial deformity, dental problems, speech disorders and poor hearing. As the child grows this can lead to psychological and development difficulties if these are not treated.
  2. The Spires Cleft Centre is a twin site centre, based at Salisbury and Oxford.  It is one of nine centres in England and Wales treating children with cleft lip and /or palate. The service is provided as a managed clinical network (MCN) and the team extends across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, part of West Sussex, Dorset, South and North Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Northamptonshire. The team also provides care for patients in Guernsey and for the British Military Forces overseas. The centre was first designated in 2004. 

Salisbury District Hospital Stars Appeal  

  • The Stars Appeal is Salisbury District Hospital’s charity. It raises money to create the best possible experience for patients and their families by funding extra care and equipment over and above that provided by the NHS.
  • 300,000 people across South Wiltshire, North and East Dorset and West Hampshire, and beyond, rely on Salisbury District Hospital every year.

  • Thanks to the generous support of the local community, the Appeal has already funded many projects, large and small, throughout the hospital. They include:

    •  additional equipment and facilities worth £1million within the new children’s ward and outpatient unit

    •  a second lab in the Hospital’s Cardiac Suite enabling much interventional work, as well as diagnostics, to be carried out locally

    •  a highly advanced keyhole cancer surgery suite

    •  state-of-the-art treatment and diagnostic equipment for premature and critically-ill babies

    •  additional therapy and facilities for patients with cancer and blood disorders on the Pembroke Unit

    •  a major contribution to the new bereavement suite

    •  a dedicated children's waiting and treatment area in the accident and emergency department. 

  • The Stars Appeal is currently focusing on a number of projects including the upgrading of facilities for patients undergoing treatment for cancer and blood disorders and the provision of a £350,000 Family Accommodation Unit for the parents and siblings of babies in the Special Care Baby Unit (NICU).


For further information, please contact:

Dave Cates,

The Stars Appeal,

Salisbury District Hospital.

Tel: 01722 429005

Page Last Updated: 08/05/2014 10:05 
Printed from Salisbury NHS Foundation Website