Updated: Nov 25, 2022
WHO CAN PROVIDE A TONGUE TIE RELEASE?
This is a good question as there are so many opinions and variants of who-is-who, and criterias change depending on where you are in the world!
Here I will try to help you find a reputable practitioner for those of you in England, UK.
The first point of contact in those early days is usually your amazing midwife or health visitor. Healthcare professionals do vary in their range of skills, knowledge and experience though, but you can ask that they refer you to your local NHS infant feeding support team, as especially when considering a tongue-tie restriction and treatment, it is a very niche and complex specialist area.
It would be wise to source a reputable Infant Feeding Specialist. This may be a member of your local NHS infant feeding team, or a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) who, even if you are no longer/did not choose to breast/chest feed or provide human milk, still possess the gold standard qualification in infant feeding. Yes-they can support you however you choose to feed your babies including the use of formula milks. Many NHS services do not employ IBCLCs so you may consider sourcing one yourself privately.
A list of Lactation consultants in Great Britain can be sourced at:
(A list of the different breastfeeding specialists and the qualification they hold can be found
at the following link. Unfortunately, the title 'Lactation Consultant' is not protected, so please do check out the credentials of anyone that you choose to see. and this can be done by checking the professional register).
2). Your chosen Tongue-Tie Practitioner:
I recommend that you take a few things into account. Their credentials, previous tongue tie experience, any recommendations from peers, family or professionals and VERY importantly-what aftercare support do they provide? How is it provided? Is that included in the cost or extra? (I would always expect to pay extra for extra support astraining, time and experience cost the practitioner financially too. Thinking about it logically-all other areas of private care whether human healthcare or even vetinary you would pay at each additional appointment so.
Bear in mind there location too. Do they offer a home visit or would you travel to their clinic? Should you need a follow up review-would you/could you travel that distance again?
3). Since 2019, ALL private practitioners in England must be registered with CQC, and in Scotland HIS. This is a legal requirement. You can search to check who is registered on their website www.cqc.org.uk, he/she may be listed by their professional name or in their company name. If you are unsure, ask the practitioner if they are registered! All registered professionals are inspected by CQC and their standard rating must be visible on their website.
In the NHS, all clinics across all specialities are covered by CQC. However a practitioner who works NHS and in private care would still need an additional CQC registration for their private works, they can not use NHS provision for private work.
4). All practitioners must also be registered with the governing body of their speciality also, such as NMC, GMC, GDC.
ALL practitioners must be either a NURSE/MIDWIFE/DOCTOR/DENTIST/HEALTH VISITOR who has taken on the additional tongue-tie training. It is out-of-scope for an IBCLC without this training to be diagnosing or dividing tongue tie restrictions. Similarly it is not part of routine training for midwives, health visitors or GPs to diagnose either. They can provide you with their valid opinion and insight, just not a formal diagnosis. In an ideal world those professionals should say "I suspect........but here are the details of a professional who is trained to diagnose and support in this area as I am not trained in this specialism". I am not suggesting NHS refer into private practice nor that individual names are used, but signposting to a professional body for primary caregivers to make an informed choice is the correct thing to do. And ruling it out is just as important as ruling it in too!
5). The Association of Tongue Tie Practitioners (ATP) UK.
The ATP list all of the practitioners who have registered with them geographically in a handy map, with a search tool to locate who is closest to your area or by postcode. Annually the ATP check these practitioners are registered with CQC and their governing body, but ultimately it is upto the primary caregiver to check the credentials of their chosen practitioners.
The ATP website also houses additional information for parents such as what to expect at an appointment, what symptoms are associated with tongue-tie restriction and many more.