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New service for local babies launched at George Eliot Hospital

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Maternity Unit 2016

Babies born with tongue-tie in Nuneaton and Coventry can now be treated at George Eliot Hospital rather than having to travel to Birmingham.

The piece of tissue that joins the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth is called the frenulum.  When this piece of tissue is short, thick or extends right to the end of the tongue, it can restrict the movement of the tongue – known as tongue-tie.  Approximately 11 per cent of babies are born with a tongue-tie, with half of them likely to have breast feeding problems.

The new service, commissioned by NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), will be run at George Eliot Hospital by two specially trained midwives.  The free service is open to any babies who were born either at George Eliot Hospital or in Coventry. Previously, the closest service was provided at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham.

Babies can be referred to the clinic by community midwives, health visitors, breast feeding peer support workers and at the Newborn Infant Physical Examination (NIPE).

Alison Talbot, Head of Midwifery at George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, said:

“We are really pleased to launch our tongue-tie clinics, which are part of the wider holistic care we offer at George Eliot to improve breastfeeding experiences for mums and their babies.  If any mums have any concerns about breast feeding we would advise them to contact their community midwife or health visitor.”

Dr Deryth Stevens, GP and Chair of NHS Warwickshire North CCG said:

“Local people tell us about the importance of care closer to their homes.  Prior to the launch the nearest service was available out of the county.  It is fantastic that we are now able to commission a local service.

“Breastfeeding offers a range of health benefits to mother and baby; for the latter these can last right into adulthood.  There is good evidence to show the tongue-tie procedure can improve breastfeeding and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) supports the use of the procedure.”

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Further information about Tongue-Tie can be found on NHS Choices http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tongue-tie/Pages/Introduction.aspx  

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