To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of care for European children with clefts of the lip and/or palate.
To establish a register of services and resources, review current evidence, and establish common practice guidelines and quality assurance methodology.
The concertation will be coordinated by a Steering Group consisting of the cleft palate teams of Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Manchester, Oslo and Stockholm. European services will be surveyed and a network of all member states, and links to Central and Eastern Europe and the New Soviet Republics will be developed. The register of services will include the organisation and funding of care, clinical protocols and record keeping, and resources for clinical research including gene mapping. Systematic literature reviewing according to the protocols of the Cochrane Collaboration will underpin the development of proposals for common clinical guidelines and methodology for outcome assessment. Pilot studies of comparative outcome will be undertaken to provide a basis for discussion of common approaches to quality assurance. The extent of consensus will be determined at a final forum.