Dad campaigns for access to operations for babies with tongue-ties

Babies suffering from tongue-tie are facing a lack of access to operations and one father is campaigning to help them after being asked to wait months for his infant son’s procedure.

Andy Johnson-Creek, a Berrylands councillor, and his wife Claire, of Church Lane, Chessington, had their son Felix at Kingston Hospital in January, after which they found out he had a tie-tongue. The hospital used to have staff able to perform the operation quickly, but now do not.

Affected babies have restricted movement of their tongue and jaw, which can cause difficulties in breastfeeding, colic and gas and speech impediments if left untreated. This can lead to a weaker bond between the mother and baby, and has been linked to post-natal depression.

The couple was referred to a GP and then given an appointment for the procedure more than two months later. They decided to get the operation done privately, at a cost of around £140 – much cheaper than the national average – but Mr Johnson-Creek recognised that not everyone can afford to do the same. Determined, he set up a petition that has gathered over 93,000 signatures, demanding that all NHS maternity units check for, and correct, ties at birth. Mr Johnson-Creek has lobbied Kingston Hospital to improve its service.

A spokesperson for Kingston Hospital said Gina Brockwell, director of Midwifery, met with the Ear, Nose and Throat Unit team on April 13 to discuss the possibility of the infant-feeding midwife working with the oral surgeons to assist in the tongue-tie separation service. She also confirmed the hospital has been in discussion with Kingston Care Commissioning Group regarding making a business case to a group of south west London hospitals (covering Richmond, Kingston, Wandsworth, Sutton, Merton and Croydon) for training the community midwife team to do the procedure without needing a clinical referral.

Felix Johnson-Creek’s situation was not an isolated one, as almost 10 per cent of babies in the UK are born with the condition.


Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Filtered words will be replaced with the filtered version of the word.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

By posting content on, you agree to adhere to the following guidelines.

  • Your username and password must only be used by you, keep them safe. If a posting is made using your username and password it will be considered to have been posted by you. If you have a friend who wants to use our site and post messages on the site, show them how to register.
  • Be courteous at all times, inciting racial hatred, posting abusive, obscene, threatening, harassing, defamatory, libellous or sexually explicit material or any material that is found to be offensive is not acceptable and we may suspend your username and password.
  • Retaliating to offensive posts causes more problems for other users on the discussion boards. Just report such messages to us using the Feedback link which is available at the top of every page or the 'report this' link associated with individual postings. We will act on every report we receive.
  • Please respect other people's work and do not post material that infringes copyright.
  • Do not post information that you know to be confidential or sensitive or otherwise in breach of the law. You should only post material that you know to be public knowledge. If you have any doubts do not post it on the site.
  • Never attempt to gain unauthorised access to any area of the site. This is known as hacking and is illegal.
  • Content posted represents the opinions of the author, and does not represent the opinions of or its affiliates and has not been approved or issued by You should be aware that the other participants are strangers to you and may make statements which may be misleading, deceptive or wrong.
  • Spoofing or posing as another user is unacceptable. Anonymous users' postings should always be considered with suspicion.
  • Help keep a safe place for information and opinion. Please alert us of any anti-social behaviour as described above.
Please note that does not monitor the comments posted and we are therefore reliant upon users reporting antisocial behaviour.