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Local Organising Committee

Dr Felicity Mehendale



Chair of Cleft 2021
President of International Confederation of Cleft Lip & Palate and Related Craniofacial Anomalies (ICCPCA)
Dr Felicity Vidya Mehendale is a consultant plastic, reconstructive and cleft surgeon in the NHS and an honorary clinical senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.

Her research includes objective measurement of clinical outcomes, velopharyngeal anatomy and physiology, speech surgery including its effect on the airway, obstructive sleep apnoea/snoring, wound healing, particularly, embryonic wound healing, developmental biology of the face, comparative anatomy of the head and neck, 3D imaging and measurement of the face, facial symmetry and face perception. Having trained and worked in India she is also fascinated by international differences in healthcare and disease.
Órla Duncan



Vice-Chair of Cleft 2021
Órla set up the first plastic surgery nurse specialist post and then the cleft nursing service in Edinburgh, developing and auditing cleft care standards and protocols. She then took up a full time research nurse post following which she established a new service as a psychosocial nurse practitioner, with the plastic surgery and psychology services in Edinburgh.

Her interests include care of neonates with clefts, international collaboration on cleft care, psychosocial care, research and outcomes.
Vicky Beale



Treasurer of Cleft 2021
Miss Beale trained at Newcastle University qualifying initially in Dentistry in 1993 and intent on a career in facial and maxillofacial surgery went on to qualify in Medicine with a Distinction in 1999. Early surgical training was in the North East of England with a subsequent move to the West of Scotland to join their highly regarded Maxillofacial Higher Surgical Training Program.

Miss Beale was awarded a prestigious National Cleft Interface Fellowship in 2006 gaining extensive experience in the management of patients with cleft lip and palate and related conditions based in specialist cleft centres in Leeds, Newcastle and at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London.

After a year as a consultant in cleft and maxillofacial surgery at Salisbury District Hospital she moved to join the cleft lip and palate and maxillofacial surgery units in Manchester and has been based at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and the Manchester Royal Infirmary since 2010.

With special interests in Primary and Secondary Cleft lip and Palate Surgery, Facial Deformity, Oral and Maxillofacial Trauma