Aim: To evaluate the impact made by a surgeon in a multidisciplinary speech investigation clinic.
Method: A multidisciplinary speech investigation clinic has been structured at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital with a speech therapist, radiologist and a surgeon present. Investigations are carried out and a decision is made regarding surgical intervention at this visit. Previously videofluoroscopy was performed in the absence of a surgeon and further visits were necessary for additional investigations and for review in the cleft clinic. A retrospective study was performed comparing the care pathway in 2 groups of patients: Group A – all patients with speech problems who attended for videofluoroscopy in 2010; Group B – all patients who attended the single stage multidisciplinary speech investigation clinic in 2012.
Results: 156 patients were included in the study. Analysis of the two groups revealed reduced radiation exposure, number of visits and waiting time to surgery for patients in the multidisciplinary speech investigation clinic group (group B).
Conclusion: We advocate that all cleft lip and palate units should adopt this effective approach to the investigation of patients with velopharyngeal insufficiency.