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$1.2m granted to Cleft Lip and Palate Research in New Zealand

Quality of Care and outcomes in children with Cleft Lip and/or palate – Health Research Council project funded for 48 months ($1M)

Many of you will have heard Dr John Thompson speak at a couple of our AGMs. Dr Thompson is a highly respected Senior Research Fellow in Paediatrics at Auckland University. He has tirelessly advocated for funding into Cleft Lip and Palate study and in June, he received the fantastic news that the Health Research Council (HRC) have granted him the funding to proceed with this vital project.

This study has two main objectives in relation to cleft lip and palate (CLP). Firstly it will investigate the health care delivery pathways from the time of diagnosis to the primary surgery for children with a cleft lip and/or palate and their families. This will ensure that CLP patients are receiving health delivery to the standard expected and required. Secondly it will provide the first consistently collected outcome data in relation to cleft lip and palate in New Zealand, including surgical outcomes, speech, dental care and importantly quality of life. This data will be compared to a parallel study in Australia, as well as to data from the UK to determine how cleft lip and palate patients in New Zealand fare compared to their contemporaries worldwide. This will allow any deficiencies to be identified and processes put in place to ensure improved outcomes in the future.

Cleft NZ is thrilled about this significant development and grateful to John for securing this project which will have an extremely positive impact on the lives of Cleft affected children and their families in New Zealand in the future. Grants of this size and nature do not come easily or quickly. We are extremely lucky to have John and a number of other well respected health professionals who endorsed this proposal in our corner. Our thanks goes to all of them and also to the HRC for having the vision to support this project.

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