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Meet the Cleft Team

   
Helen Extence
Clinical Director and Lead Specialist Speech and Language Therapist 

I was appointed as Clinical Director for the cleft team in 2018. I am delighted to lead such a dedicated team of staff. I represent the service at the National Cleft Development Group and work closely with hospital managers and our Welsh commissions to ensure cleft care is the best it can be for our children, families and patients of South, West and Mid Wales.

 

 

Mr Matt Fell
Cleft Surgeon
 

 

 

 

Andrea Thomas
Administration Team – Cleft Co-Ordinator

I am the Cleft Lip and Palate Co-Ordinator and have worked in Morriston Hospital since 1992, working in Management and Anaesthetics before joining the Cleft Team in August 2003.  I am the voice at the end of 01792 703810.

I look after the cleft waiting list, arrange the MDT clinics, Audit and the cleft database.

Morriston Hospital had a new Out-Patient Department in 2015. I was lucky to be part of the group involved in all the changes to make the systems work more effectively and the flow of patients more streamline.  The new out-patients department has made a better experience for all patients and staff.  You might have seen me in the MDT clinics - I have met some memorable patients over the years.  I feel very grateful to be part of such a lovely team and meeting and talking to some lovely patients.

Christina Edwards
Administration Team Clerk

Debra Necrews-Davies
Administration Team – Medical Secretary

I have recently joined the Cleft Service, having previously had 20 years’ experience of working within Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at Morriston and 30 years within the Health Service.  My role is to provide a secretarial and administrative service to the whole cleft team.

My son was born with a bilateral cleft lip & palate, so I have personal experience of the brilliant cleft service from a patient parent perspective.

Helin Coe
Administration Team – Medical Secretary 

I am the Cleft Service Team Secretary.  I have worked with the service since July 2007 and I mainly help set up clinics and type clinic letters.  I help out with all administration requirements for the team.  I also type for the Psychology service, as well as make appointments for the Paediatric Dentist.  I also speak to patients on the telephone.  Mainly, I buy the tea, coffee & biscuits that keep the team going. 

Gail Hogarth 
Administration Team – Medical Secretary 

I am secretary to the Cleft Surgeon, joining the service in September 2005, although I have worked for the NHS since October 1989.  I support the cleft surgeon with all his clerical needs. I mainly set up clinics and type clinic letters.  I also support the cleft surgeon with his Plastic Surgery clerical needs. I speak to patients and other Health Professionals to help with their requirements. Most importantly, I keep the surgeon supplied with tea and biscuits.

 
 

 

 

Dr James Farrant
Consultant  Paediatric Anaesthetist

I am a consultant anaesthetist with specialised paediatric anaesthesia training. I have worked at Swansea Bay University Health Board since 2016, having worked in England, Wales and New Zealand during my anaesthesia training.

I routinely anaesthetise children for medical, ENT, congenital hand, cleft lip and palate procedures. I have experience of volunteering abroad, providing cleft anaesthesia in developing countries. I find it rewarding working in Swansea with the Welsh Centre for Cleft Lip and Palate, being able to provide anaesthesia for cleft patients, looking after them and keeping them safe during their surgery.

Sabelo Ndlovu
Consultant Anaesthetist

I have been a Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist for Swansea Bay University Health Board since May 2014, and have been one of two Anaesthetists for The Welsh Centre for Cleft Lip and Palate since 2018. In addition to this, I achieved a Fellowship in Paediatric Anaesthesia at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2013.

 

Stuart Jones
Cleft ICT support Officer

I provide general ICT support to the cleft team along with processing the Audio and Video records.

 

 

 

 

Michaela Rowe
Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist

I started my training in Morriston Hospital in 1984 as a Registered General Nurse, then when qualifying I worked on the surgical ward. I trained as a children’s nurse in 1989 in Great Ormond Street and returned to work on the children’s ward in Neath General Hospital, looking after sick children with general paediatric illness. Whilst working in Neath I was fortunate to undertake the reconstructive surgical module in Chepstow Hospital.

I became sister on the children’s ward in Morriston in 1993, where I worked for 7 years looking after babies and children having cleft surgery, until I undertook my community nursing degree in 2000. On completing my degree, I worked as a children’s community nurse in Swansea.

I was fortunate to secure my current role as Specialist Cleft Nurse in 2001. Whilst working as a cleft nurse I undertook the cleft nursing course in Nottingham.

I feel privileged to have worked as the Lead Cleft Nurse for nearly 20 years looking after babies and their families going through their cleft journey.

picture of Chuley , Clinical Nurse Specialist

Chuley Walton
Clinical Nurse Specialist

I qualified as a Children’s Nurse at Swansea University in 1998. I have worked as a paediatric nurse on the children’s wards at Morriston Hospital for over 22years. This has provided me with valuable experience in caring for children and their families across both surgical and medical specialities.

Surgical nursing has always been my passion and I have had an ongoing interest in caring for babies/children and their families undergoing cleft surgery.  I was also the link nurse for cleft whilst working on the ward. In 2015 I was fortunate to complete The management of a child with a cleft lip/palate course at Manchester University and consolidate this learning with a 9month secondment with the Cleft team.

I secured a part time job with the team in 2019 followed by full time position early 2020. I feel extremely privileged to be part of our amazing cleft team and being involved in children's cleft journey’s.

Photo of Nicola, Clinical Nurse Specialist

Nicola Goldhawk
Clinical Nurse Specialist

I completed my nurse training at Swansea University in 2005 qualifying with a BN (Child). I worked as a paediatric nurse in Swansea for over 10 years, where I gained experience working on various children’s wards. During this time, I had a particular interest in nursing patients of all ages with cleft lip and palate.

I then completed further training to become a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN) and started working as a Health Visitor.   

I am now proud to be a part of the South Wales Cleft Team working as a Specialist Nurse. I support babies and their families through their cleft journey from the antenatal period and onwards to early adulthood.  I am also the Safeguarding Lead for the team.    

Emma Gregory Cleft CNS Emma Gregory
Clinical Nurse Specialist

 

 

Ingo Scholler
Consultant Paediatrician

Maha Mansour
Consultant Paediatrician

 

 

    

Mechelle Collard
Consultant Paediatric Dentist

I am a Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry and the lead for Paediatric Dentistry for the South Wales cleft team. The cleft dental nurses and I will work together with you and your local dentist to make sure children have healthy teeth and a lovely smile. I work closely with the Orthodontist and Surgeon to manage any missing or malformed teeth which can be common in children born with a cleft.

I see patients in both Morriston Hospital and the University Dental Hospital, Cardiff.

Rachel Yemm
Cleft Dental Nurse

I am the lead Cleft Dental Nurse at the University of Wales Dental Hospital, Cardiff. I help to organise clinics and assist the Paediatric Dentist and Orthodontist carrying out treatment. I also attend babble therapy sessions in Cardiff to give parent’s advice.
Carys Pitman nurse

Carys Pitman
Cleft Dental Nurse

I am a Dental Nurse in the Orthodontic Clinic at the University of Wales Dental Hospital, Cardiff.  I have an interest in Cleft Lip and Palate and support Rachel Yemm, Lead Cleft Dental Nurse, with her duties for the Cleft Team.

   

Miss S Davis
Consultant E.N.T Surgeon

Miss S Davis is a Consultant Otorhinolaryngologist (ENT Surgeon) who has been working with the Cleft Lip and Palate Team since 2009. Her role is to co-ordinate ENT and Audiology care for your child between the local services and the Cleft team. 

 

   
   

 

 

Oliver Murch 
Clinical Lead for Genetics 

Prior to my medical training at Swansea University, I completed a PhD at Queen Mary University of London. I subsequently took up a specialist training post in Paediatrics and then Clinical Genetics training in Cardiff.   I am now one of the Clinical Geneticists working for the All-Wales Medical Genomics Service (AWMGS).  

It is a privilege to be genetic lead for the Welsh Centre for Cleft Lip & Palate. I am also clinical lead for the Wales Infants’ and Children’s Genome Service for acutely unwell children.   

 

 

 

Charlotte Eckhardt
Consultant Orthodontist 

Dr Charlotte Eckhardt is a highly experienced Consultant Orthodontist at Swansea Bay University Health Board, and Senior Clinical Lecturer in Aesthetic Medicine for the Queen Mary University of London.    

Charlotte ran the Orthodontic Course for Postgraduates and Specialist Trainees in Cardiff University from 2004 to 2008.  In 2008 she founded the South Wales Orthodontic Therapy Course for the Royal College of Surgeons of England and ran it until 2014.  In 2010 she became an examiner for MOrth for the Royal Surgical Colleges of England and Glasgow.  In 2012 she was the elected Chair of the Panel of MOrth Examiners and in 2018 she was elected as Chair of the Board of Examiners Bi-Collegiate of MOrth Examination for the Royal College of Surgeons of England and Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians of Glasgow.  In these roles she has been responsible for developing the international diets of the MOrth exams held in Malaysia, India and Egypt and in 2020, as a response to the global pandemic, she led the development of online assessments allowing MOrth to continue during times of restricted travel and limited face to face interactions.  For her work for the Royal College of Surgeons of England she has been awarded the Collier Gold Medal (2021). 

In 2020 Charlotte was elected to the Board of the RCS and is the Deputy Chair of the Examinations Committee and the Academic and Innovations Committee. 

From 2008-2015 Charlotte was a member of the British Orthodontic Society Education Committee of which she was chair from 2011–2015 and Director of the BOS Virtual Learning Environment from 2008-2014 developing online continual professional development material. 

Charlotte has long held an interest in facial aesthetics and also has a Master’s degree in Aesthetic Medicine with distinction from Queen Mary University of London and is one of the few Practitioners in the UK to undertake such specialist training. Charlotte was subsequently asked to join the faculty, and is a Clinical Senior Lecturer on the Aesthetic Medicine Master’s degree at Queen Mary University of London, where she takes part in the training of Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists, Doctors and Dentists on the safe and effective use of non-surgical aesthetic procedures and so is fully trained and indemnified for these.  She is the Director of Assessments for this programme.

Charlotte lectures nationally and internationally in the fields of Orthodontics and Aesthetic Medicine. 

Picture of Jann, Restorative Dentis

Jann Siew Chin
Consultant in Restorative Dentistry

Miss Chin is currently a Consultant in Restorative Dentistry at Cardiff Dental Hospital and works as part of the South Wales Cleft team. She works closely with a range of specialist teams from the Cleft Service to facilitate reshaping and replacement of teeth. She is a Specialist in dentures, bridges and implants.

Miss Chin graduated from Newcastle in 2006 and completed a year of vocational training and three years in general dental practice. She then completed four years in hospital based senior house officer posts prior to completing her five-year specialist training in Restorative Dentistry at Cardiff Dental Hospital. She also obtained a Masters’ Degree at Cardiff University and was awarded a Fellowship in Dental Surgery in Restorative Dentistry with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

Mathew Locke
Consultant Restorative Dentist 

Dr Locke works as a Consultant in Restorative Dentistry and Lead Restorative dental treatments on both the Cleft Service and Hypodontia clinics. 

Matt graduated from Cardiff in 1996 and spent the last two decades! working in hospital and academic positions in South Wales. From 2012 to 2022 he worked in Cardiff Dental Hospital as Lead for Dental Hygiene and Therapy training and latterly Lead for Postgraduate Prosthodontics specialists in Training. 

From 2023 he began to work as part of the Cleft Team for Swansea Bay. 

He continues to be the Lead for Specialist restorative exit examinations as part of the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow. 

Outside of work Matt is very keen on golf - but not yet very good! 

 

 

Aimee Pudduck Psychologist

Aimee Pudduck
Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist

I am the Consultant Lead Clinical Psychologist working in the Welsh Centre for Cleft Lip and Palate based at Morriston Hospital in Swansea Bay University Health Board. I joined the team in February 2023.  

Since qualifying in 2009, I have worked in various child and family related settings including working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), inpatient adolescent mental health services, and in services for Looked After Children. I have also worked as a Senior Clinical Tutor on the South Wales Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme and continue to offer some sessions to maintain my research and academic interests in psychological approaches to working with children and families, attachment, trauma informed care, neurodiversity and supervision in the helping professions. 

Dr Tom Henwood
Clinical Psychologist

I am a Clinical Psychologist with the Welsh Centre for Cleft Lip and Palate. I qualified from Cardiff University in 2018 and I worked in dementia care services before I joined the cleft team in 2020. I work with people right across the life span and help support them and their families through the wide range of psychological challenges that people may experience through being born with a cleft lip and / or cleft palate.  I work closely with other members of the cleft team to ensure that our patients get the psychological support they need, when they need it.

Picture of Erin, Assistant Psychologist
Erin Morgan
Assistant Clinical Psychologist
 
I joined the Cleft team as an Assistant Psychologist in 2021. I have experience working with both children and adults in a range of settings. This includes forensic, psychological trauma and Children’s services, where I provided support to those who presented with psychological concerns, such as anxiety. I also linked in with other service providers so that the most appropriate care is accessed. I use these skills to promote good mental health and wellbeing amongst patients within the cleft service.
 

Jade Evans
Assistant Clinical Psychologist

Trainee Clinical Psychologist

 

 

Helen Extence
Lead Specialist Speech and Language Therapist 
 
I am the Lead Speech and Language Therapist for the Cleft Speech and Language Therapy Department and currently the Clinical Director for the Welsh Centre for Cleft Lip and Palate. 

I ensure that the service is represented nationally and that speech outcomes are recorded and reported nationally.  I support a team of highly skilled specialist therapists to deliver assessment, differential diagnosis, specialist therapy, training of others and ensure the department undertakes quality improvement projects in order to promote the best care for patients. Staff within the service are actively encouraged to undertake and contribute to research and audit projects.  I am a CAPS A trainer as well as an advisor for the Cleft Collective speech project.  I am an active member of the Lead Cleft SLT Forum and heavily involved in the national standards work and the national survey, examining the inequities in speech and language therapy provision for children born with cleft lip and palate.  

Sharon Baker
Deputy Lead Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

I work within the hub at Morriston Hospital seeing children and adults for speech assessments and within the MDT clinics. I also provide therapy in various Health Boards across Wales. I support the lead SLT in the day to day running of the Cleft SLT team.

My role involves undertaking service evaluations and improvement projects. I also support the other SLT’s in carrying these out and implementing changes.

Rhian Hoccom
Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

I am currently the link for Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board.  I offer therapy to children born with cleft lip and palate or have symptoms of velopharyngeal dysfunction within the Cardiff and Vale area.  I also support local Speech and Language Therapists with second opinions and joint therapy target setting. This therapy is based in Llandough Children’s Centre and in Schools.

I also work in Morriston Hospital where I work with the wider cleft team on clinics and I carry out routine and post-operative speech assessment.

 

Lisa Farquhar
Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

I am currently the link for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.  My role is to provide therapy to children born with a cleft palate and those who have velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD) with associated cleft speech characteristics.  I also assess children suspected of having VPD and work very closely with the local SLT Team, offering a second opinion and advice and support as required.  The majority of my work is carried out in schools or community clinics.  

Rhian Pinkney
Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

I have worked as a Speech and Language Therapist in South Wales and Surrey for over 10 years, supporting children and young people with speech and language disorders. During this time, I have had a particular interest in supporting children of all ages with cleft lip and palate. I joined the Welsh Centre for Cleft Lip and Palate in 2020 and my role involves providing therapy to children born with a cleft palate and those who have velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD). I work at Morriston Hospital and also cover Cardiff and Vale UHB, Hywel Dda Health Board and Aneurin Bevan UHB areas.

Laura Williams 
Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
 
 
Following my role as a Paediatric Speech & Language Therapist, I joined the Welsh Centre for Cleft Lip and Palate in 2021. My role involves providing assessment and therapy for children with a cleft palate and/or velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD). I am a link therapist for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, as well as working within the multidisciplinary team in Morriston Hospital. 
Rachel Wuyts Cleft SLT

Rachel Wuyts, Speech and Language Therapist  

Following my role as a Paediatric Speech & Language Therapist in Oxfordshire and Swansea Bay local team, I joined the Welsh Centre for Cleft Lip and Palate in 2022. My role involves providing assessment and therapy for children with a cleft palate and/or velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD). I work at Morriston Hospital within the wider cleft team, and support children and young people in Swansea Bay University Health Board and Hywel Dda Health Board areas. 

Catriona Taylor, Speech and Language Therapist

 


 

Eleri Jones, Speech and Language Therapist

 

Shirley Williams
Speech and Language Therapy Assistant

I have 2 roles within the Welsh Centre for Cleft Lip and Palate.  I am a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant supporting the Specialist Speech and Language Therapists with patient support, resources and admin.  I provide therapy to patients within the Swansea area and I am also responsible for the delivery of the Babble therapy workshops to families who have had a baby born with a cleft palate +/- lip.   
My second role is an Audit clerk.  I support all clinicians with the collation and sometimes recording of patient data in preparation for Audits or Research Projects.  I prepare the Speech Data for the CRANE database and 5-year speech outcomes for the dashboard. 

Lauren Hughes
Speech and Language Therapy Assistant

I am a Cleft Speech and Language Therapy Assistant and I joined the team in 2020. My role is to support the Specialist Speech and Language Therapists in all aspects of their work.

I support the Specialist Speech and Language Therapists in providing therapy to babies and children born with a cleft lip +/- palate and those with velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD). I plan and create therapy resources, carry out administrative tasks and assist in preparing for clinics. I work within Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

Hannah Gammon
Higher Clerical Officer for Speech & Language Therapy Team

I joined the Cleft Speech and Language Therapy Team in December 2022 as a Higher Clerical Officer. My role entails providing administrative and secretarial support for the team. I am predominantly based at Morriston Hospital.