Tongue-Tie division service on the NHS in Cambridgeshire
We the undersigned believe that Cambridgeshire should have a skilled, experienced, knowledgeable, accessible and prompt tongue-tie division service on the NHS. We believe that babies who are tongue-tied sometimes have problems feeding. We believe that the severity of the tie does not predict the severity of the feeding issues (for mother or child). We understand that if skilled breastfeeding support is unable to resolve feeding problems, that frenulotomy is a quick and easy procedure that has been shown to be very effective in resolving breastfeeding problems. There is a growing body of research on the safety and effectiveness of this procedure. We feel strongly that mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies should get NHS support to do this. It is Department of Health policy to encourage and support breastfeeding as it is well recognized that increasing breastfeeding rates would improve the health of the nation and reduce NHS costs. Frenulotomy is cheap and simple and usually results in the mother being able to breastfeed for as long as she desires. Parents should be afforded the right to make an informed decision on this issue without having to pay out of pocket for the procedure. We are aware that some believe that tongue-tie has no effect on breastfeeding. Others feel that frenulum division is being sold as a panacea against all breastfeeding ills. However, our personal experience and our understanding of the research in existence is that for some mothers and babies, this procedure is absolutely part of a journey to successful breastfeeding. This view is supported by NICE guidance issued in 2005 and the research reviewed by NICE informulating the guidance (see links below) http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/11180/31411/31411.pdf http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/11180/31409/31409.pdf Currently, mothers who wish expert diagnosis and potential division of tongue tie in Cambridge may wait up to 6 weeks for an appointment. Some are finding that their GP isn’t even prepared to consider tongue tie as an issue and won’t refer them. If a baby is not thriving or a mother is in great pain, and tongue tie is suspected, she deserves to have the baby referred for a further opinion and waiting up to 6 weeks is far too long. We are aware that by the time parents have their appointment, many, many of them have ceased breastfeeding. We are also aware that those providing the current service are untrained in the potential impact of posterior tongue tie on infant feeding and that therefore many parents are turned away without treatment or support. We appeal to NHS Cambridgeshire to follow NICE Guidance and provide a safe, reliable, prompt, accessible, skilled and knowledgeable tongue-tie division service for our county.