Early in 2015 ECO achieved its mission of developing a set of guidelines in early cleft care, agreed at a European level. Access to good treatment varies enormously throughout Europe, meaning that many children born with clefts are never given the opportunity to realise their full potential. Furthermore babies with clefts are still abandoned in some countries in Europe. The aim of a European guideline is to try to address the huge inequality in cleft care across Europe by the development of an informative document which can be used by those countries where national protocols need to be established. The guideline has been endorsed by the Committee for European Standardisation (CEN) in Brussels and was approved by an overwhelming majority of voting CEN member bodies across Europe. This has been a long process, beginning in 2011 and along the way we have had input from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, Romania and the UK. This document is available from the National Members (standards offices) of CEN in 33 European countries.
There is now a proposal to organise a European workshop looking at how these guidelines can be implemented.