Make Leeds the fifth designated Craniofacial Unit in England.

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Currently in England there are four ‘National Craniofacial Units’ designated to provide specialists services for children born with craniofacial problems – Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (Liverpool), Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (London) and Oxford Children’s Hospital.

The craniofacial service in Leeds has been running as a multidisciplinary service since 1996, and has an established surgical team, in place since 2001, comprising a Neurosurgeon, Plastic Surgeon and Maxillofacial surgeon.  The service provides surgery to patients with non-syndromic conditions. 

Children with craniofacial syndromes who are treated at Leeds Children’s Hospital for their associated cleft, cardiac and limb abnormalities are currently required to travel to a different centre to have their craniofacial surgery.  This could be avoided if Leeds became the fifth Craniofacial Unit. 

Children with syndromic conditions require closer supervision and monitoring for the effects on vision and raised intracranial pressure and therefore a single centre closer to home would have many advantages for the families.    

The North East of England comprises Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear and the Tees Valley.  These combined areas cover 16% of the population of England who currently have to travel to Liverpool to access syndromic craniofacial services.  

Please help support this petition to ask NHS England to make Leeds the fifth designated Craniofacial Unit in England which will help many families.