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CLAPA Adult Cleft Conference

Updated: Oct 25, 2020

17.11.2018 | Cleft Lip and Palate Association | Patient story

A conference put together by the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) for adults who were born with a cleft in the UK. I was invited as a guest speaker to share my story. My content focused on patient journeys, including treatment complications, patient-doctor communication and psychological well-being.

This was a brilliant day. It was great to meet so many adults born with a cleft and hear their stories. It was also interesting to listen to the latest research on cleft, how treatment is developing and how the NHS is improving support systems for both children and adults.

My content covered:

> a brief overview of my cleft treatment journey (from birth to present day).

> a discussion surrounding the psychological aspects of cleft lip and palate - both in and outside the appointment room.

> an exploration of doctor-patient communication: how to feel empowered in appointments and techniques for making sure your voice is heard.

Other speakers included:

Evie Stergiakouli (Cleft Collective, University of Bristol)

Karine Edme (Clinical Psychologist, Addenbrooke's Hospital)

Kana Miyagi (Cleft Fellow, Addenbrooke's Hospital)

Sandip Popat (Consultant in Restorative Dentistry)

Matthieu Ruthven (Research MRI Physicist, St Barts)

Amanda Bates (Patient Experience and Public Involvement Lead, University of Kent)

Kate le Marechal (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, South Thames Cleft Service)

Jenny Williams (Clinical Nurse Specialist, South Thames Cleft Service)

Nick Sharratt (Research Fellow, Centre for Appearance Research - UWE)

Kenny Ardouin (CLAPA Adult Services Coordinator)

If you have an opportunity coming up that you think might benefit from a ‘patient perspective’ talk, please feel free to email me at


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