There are four Highly Specialised Craniofacial Units designated to provide specialist services for children and adults born with craniofacial problems in the United Kingdom. Referrals by GPs are accepted at Alder Hey Liverpool, Birmingham and Oxford Children’s Hospitals. Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London requires GP’s use the GOSH online GP referral system. All units will also take from paediatricians or other hospital consultants.
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The units aim to provide patients with co-ordinated treatment. Alongside their craniofacial expertise they work with other departments within the hospitals and the local community tailored to suit each patient. This should help patients and their carers to access the full range of disciplines and services they need to treat the various conditions.
The services of the Highly Specialised Units are the responsibility of the Specialised Services (Highly Specialist Craniofacial Centres), which is part of the National Health Service (NHS) and is responsible for funding, managing and developing 'specialist services'.
Under the NCST guidelines patients with single suture craniosynostosis can be referred for treatment at Specialist Paediatric Neurology Units around the country. It should be noted that it is common practice for single suture craniosynostosis correction surgery to be carried out by a qualified neurosurgeon both at the specialist centres and paediatric neurology units. More complex surgeries will require the input from a specialist craniofacial surgeon.
If you live in Wales you can ask your paediatrician to refer you to the specialist centres. If you live in Scotland you will be referred to Glasgow Children’s Hospital by your GP. For Northern Ireland there is a satellite service operated by the Alder Hey Craniofacial Team at The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. If you live outside of the UK then you will need to speak to your local doctor about how to get a referral to your local specialists. If you are not resident in the UK you cannot receive treatment on the NHS.
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