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Meet the team

Children born with a cleft lip and / or palate may face multiple health problems. Experience has shown that these problems are best supported by a team of specialists from many disciplines who work together with the family to provide for the social, emotional, psychological and educational needs of the child.

This means that, when you visit us, you may find yourself in a room with lots of clinicians – this is quite normal and nothing to worry about. If you feel uncomfortable with so many people in the room, please don’t be afraid to request that only key members of the team remain.

Ginette Phippen

Job title: Clinical Director I am a speech and language therapist (SLT) and have worked with the Spires Cleft Centre team in Salisbury since 2002. In 2017 I was appointed as Clinical Director for the whole Spires Cleft Centre service (Salisbury and Oxford). I have worked as a speech and language therapist since 1989 and, […]

Marc Swan

Having trained as a plastic surgeon within the Oxford Deanery, I undertook specialist cleft training at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, and also at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. I undertake the primary surgical management of children referred to the Spires Cleft Centre and help to care for families from antenatal diagnosis […]

Guy Thorburn

I am a consultant plastic surgeon at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. From 2010 to 2017 I was a consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital and at the St Andrew’s Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery in Essex. My special interests include cleft lip and palate, 22q11 deletion syndrome, hypospadias, vascular anomalies and spina […]

Nichola Hudson

I lead a team of clinical nurse specialists (CNS) across the Spires Cleft Centre region. I am a qualified children and adult nurse and have a BSc Hons in Child Health Nursing. I have worked in numerous clinical settings in London including being Senior Sister at the Cleft and Craniofacial Unit at Great Ormond Street. […]

Jane Sibley

I trained as a children’s nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital after which I quickly became interested in children affected by cleft.  I have now been a clinical nurse specialist with the Spires Cleft Centre team for more than 20 years. I have a particular interest and specialist knowledge in the use of fetal MRI […]

Tina O’Neill

Clinical nurse specialists provide ongoing specialist advice and support regarding your baby’s cleft lip and / or palate, from initial diagnosis to the teenage years. We have expert knowledge in feeding and all other aspects of cleft care. We are available 365 days/year. A CNS will visit you and your newborn within 24 hours of […]

Emma Waterworth

Having qualified as a paediatric nurse from King’s College London, I went on to specialise as a neonatal intensive care nurse and, following this, a health visitor. Initially I worked with the South Thames Cleft team in 2002 and moved to the Spires Cleft Centre team in Oxford in 2012, following a relocation to the […]

Carrie Luscombe

After qualifying as a speech and language therapist (SLT) from Reading University, I worked in a mixed adult and paediatric post in Essex. As part of this post, I was a link SLT for the Great Ormond Street Cleft Service based at St Andrew’s in Broomfield. This fuelled my aspiration to work in cleft full […]

Lucy McAndrew

I have worked in the Spires Cleft Centre in Oxford for the last 15 years. After completing a BSc (Hons) in Speech Sciences from University College London and, following several years working as a community speech and language therapist (SLT), I joined the cleft team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. Here I developed an interest in […]

Sarah Overton

I  qualified as a speech and language therapist (SLT) from Newcastle University and completed post-graduate training in assessment and intervention for cleft palate speech at the University of Sheffield. My role is to help children and adults develop speech they feel happy with, often by working in partnership with families and community speech and language […]

Ricky Pal

Children born with a cleft palate are at greater risk of middle ear problems, glue ear and hearing loss. My role is to monitor their hearing and treat any ear, nose and throat (ENT) problems that arise, especially in the first few years of life. I also liaise with colleagues in other hospitals to coordinate […]

Louise Dalton

I am a clinical psychologist and joined the Spires Cleft Centre in 2004, working clinically with parents, children, siblings and adults under the care of the Oxford team. I also have responsibility for how the psychology service is provided across the Spires Cleft Centre network and lead the psychology team’s strategy to provide the best […]

Matthew Hotton

I have worked in the Spires Cleft Centre since qualifying from the Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training in 2016. I work with people of all ages, helping them and their families to adjust to being born with a cleft lip and / or palate and to cope with any associated treatment. I use a […]

Danielle Benjamin

I am currently on placement as an assistant psychologist, supporting the clinical psychologists in the care of patients born with a cleft and their families. I assist in clinics and individual appointments, whilst also administering tests to monitor patient development.

Sandip Popat

I am involved with the dental health element of cleft care from birth to adulthood. Patients born with a cleft lip and / or palate often have dental anomalies, usually in the form of missing, misshapen or even sometimes extra teeth (particularly in the cleft site). I work very closely with other orthodontists and surgeons […]

Giles Kidner

I trained as a dentist at University College London, then as a Specialist and Consultant Orthodontist at Southend, Royal London, Royal Surrey County and Eastman Dental Hospitals I have worked as an orthodontist at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Oxford University Hospitals since 2000. As part of the the Spires Cleft Centre team, I am responsible […]

Usha Kini

Following my paediatrics training at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London and at Booth Hall Children’s Hospital in Manchester, I took up specialist training in clinical genetics at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester. I was appointed Consultant Clinical Geneticist in 2005 and have been working at the Oxford Centre for Genomic Medicine in Oxford […]

Maryanne Jones

I have recently joined the Spires Cleft Centre and Craniofacial teams as a clinical support assistant. As part of my role at the Spires Cleft Centre, I help prepare for patient clinics, keep patient records up to date, liaise with families when coming into clinics, and other general support.  Prior to this, I trained at […]

Steven Berry

I have worked in the Spires Cleft Centre team for 11 years and currently co-ordinate the Oxford service. I also manage the Oxford administrative team and am closely involved in the day-to-day running of the service.

Victoria Ludlow

As secretary in the Spires Cleft Centre team I am involved in the co-ordination of Mr Swan and Mr Popat’s clinics as well as carrying out other key administrative tasks.

Jade Cawood

I am involved in many of the administrative tasks required to support the Spires Cleft Centre team. I co-ordinate clinics and liaise with patients and families under the care of Mr Thorburn and Mr Kidner.

Tony Meacock

With the many challenges that cleft patients and their families face, I have the opportunity to speak up in a professional group to represent their best interests, including the quality of the healthcare delivered and the impact of long-term conditions. I bring my extensive business and family experience to the role. Feel free to contact […]

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