Tongue Tie Service

To contact the Sheffield Childrens Hospitals please call 0114 271 7000


Some babies with tongue tie struggle to breast feed. Timely access to the Tongue Tie service is important for encouraging breast feeding and to ensure the baby feeds well. The service was established five years ago and an increase in referrals from within Sheffield and beyond has led to longer waits from referral to being seen.

A microsystem team met regularly with an Improvement Coach to improve the process of booking into the service and to reduce the wait until being seen. The team comprised a Consultant, Nurse Specialist, Infant Feeding Coordinator, Booking Supervisor, and Midwives from Jessop Maternity Hospital.

Over the course of six months, the team have reduced the average wait to be seen...

What changes have we made?

  • Introduced standardised electronic referral system replacing fax machine and ad-hoc referrals
  • Improved communication back to referring midwives to ensure ongoing support
  • Wider team now able to see and treat tongue tie
  • Dedicated clinics
  • Electronic form on EDMS meaning outcomes are saved into a database enabling easier tracking of waits and performance data saving significant administration time


How have we done it?

  • Regular Quality Improvement meetings, using the Clinical Microsystems methodology, supported by
    an Improvement Coach
  • Small iterative changes using Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles
  • Regular measurement to show how processes are improving over time
  • Different departments, across multiple organisations, working together and communicating more effectively


I’m really pleased with what we’ve achieved in such a short space of time. What was good was that we had everyone in a room, every week, talking about it. These changes are fairly simple but didn’t happen until we had a process.

Richard Lindley
Consultant Paediatric Surgeon


Reducing the wait has made a real difference to mothers. Breastfeeding is the healthiest way for a mother to feed her baby, but it can be a challenge
to continue when things aren’t easy, even with good support.

Rachael Broadhead
Midwife, Jessop Maternity Hospital

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