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Helen Extence

Joint Lead Trainer

Helen Extence.jpg

Helen was appointed to the SLT lead position for the Welsh Cleft Lip and Palate Centre in 2005. She has worked in the cleft unit since 1996, qualifying in 1992 from Cardiff, University of Wales. She manages a team of specialist speech and language therapists and has established a hub/link model of service delivery, appointing link therapists in the five Health Boards of South Wales.

She is passionate about cleft palate care and improving clinical outcomes, engaging families from an early stage and preventing speech errors from emerging, where possible. She is an active member of the Lead Cleft SLT forum and has been heavily involved in the national standards work1 and a national survey, examining the inequities in speech and language therapy provision for children born with cleft lip and palate.

She was elected to represent the Lead SLT group on the Council of the Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland (CFSGBI) between July 2013-2015 and is currently a member of the Cleft Collective SLT Advisory Group. She lectures annually to SLT students at Cardiff Metropolitan University as well as to maxillofacial trainees. She has chaired scientific sessions at the CFSGBI in 2015 and 2018 and has co-judged the best poster and audit presentations. She recently published a chapter in a maxillofacial textbook and regularly presents on topics ranging from orthognathic advancement, early intervention, improving speech outcomes and telehealth.

She is delighted to be a CAPS-A trainer and looks forward to this new venture, working with other trainers, ensuring the standard of our audit activity is maintained.

Published Works

Britton L, et al. A cross-sectional cohort study of speech in 5 year-olds with cleft palate to support development of national audit standards. Benchmarking Speech Standards in the United Kingdom. Cleft and Craniofacial Journal 2014: 51(4):431-451

Britton L, Calladine S, Extence H, Phippen G, Pinkstone M. Inequities in speech and language therapy provision for children with cleft palate. Bulletin October 2017


Extence H, Cassidy S. The role of the Speech Pathologist in the care of the patient with Cleft Palate. (2017) Maxillofacial Surgery. Elsevier, 3rd Edition.

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