Professor Jonathan Sandy is a clinically active orthodontist. His research has focused on the centralisation of cleft services in the UK. In 1998 the Department of Health invited the NHS’s Clinical Standards Advisory Group (CSAG) to conduct an enquiry into cleft services who then commissioned a nationwide review of the provision of care for children born with cleft lip and palate. As a result Professor Sandy led a nationwide review of services for cleft palate patients in the UK. The research led to the establishment of a professional implementing body — the Cleft Implementation Group — which coordinated a nationwide centralisation of cleft palate services within the NHS. This has recently been shown to have resulted in dramatic improvements for patients and their families.
Over the fifteen-year period since the decision was made to centralise cleft care from 57 down to 11 more specialised multidisciplinary cleft lip and palate services, the outcomes for these children have improved.
He is currently running the Cleft Collective Birth Cohort Study which is investigating the biological and environmental causes of cleft, the best treatments for cleft and the psychological impact of cleft on those affected and their families. The study involves collaboration across the NHS’s cleft lip and palate services and includes a number of charities and voluntary organisations.