Professor Yvonne E Wren

BSc(Manch.)(Hons), MEd(Bristol), PhD(Bristol), Cert M RCSLT

  • BS8 2BN

Personal profile

Research interests

Speech development, disorder, cleft palate, speech and language therapy, communication impairment

Research interests

Yvonne is the lead for research into cleft lip and palate at the University of Bristol. Her work with the team of researchers and administrative staff builds on the global reputation for research in this area that Bristol Dental School has established over three decades. Two heritage studies, the Clinical Studies Advisory Group for Cleft (CSAG) and Cleft Care UK (CCUK) have data that continue to be used to investigate the best treatments for cleft. The Cleft Collective Cohort Study is an ongoing investigation. It began in 2012 and now has over 10,000 participants who have contributed biological, clinical and self-report data which is being used to determine the causes, best treatments and outcomes of being born with cleft lip and/or palate. All of the data collected in this study is available for the international research community to use. More information is available at The Cleft Collective | Bristol Dental School | University of Bristol and on twitter @cleftcollective.

Yvonne is the Chief Investigator of the NIHR funded MISLToe_SSD study. This study is using existing evidence, a participatory workshop and an expert panel to agree the content for a core outcomes set and collection of minimal data for speech and language therapists working with children with speech sound disorder. The study has attracted considerable international interest from researchers across the globe who are keen to adopt a similar approach in their countries. A funding application for a follow on study is now in preparation to begin collection of data. You can find out more about this study at MISLToe SSD | North Bristol NHS Trust (nbt.nhs.uk) and on twitter @MISLToe_SSD.

In her role at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Yvonne is the lead for the Welsh Government funded Speech, Language and Communication Surveillance Package development and evaluation project. Funding of £1.5million has been awarded to the team involved in this project to develop a tool which can be used by early years practitioners to monitor children’s speech, language and communication development in the pre-school years. This project will assist in the early identification of children whose skills are not developing in line with their age and the provision of support and intervention to help these children. The team includes collaborators from the University of Newcastle, University of Plymouth, University of the West of England, Oxford Brookes University, Institute of Health Visiting and the charity, Speech and Language UK. This work builds on a series of reviews carried out for Welsh Government by Yvonne and the team at BSLTRU and CMET.

As Director of Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit, Yvonne leads a team of clinical academic speech and language therapists who carry out research in the field of communication impairment. The team is the only NHS based speech and language therapy research institute in the UK. Over the years, the unit has supported many speech and language therapists to embark on a research career, more recently with support from the National Institute for Health Research Integrated Clinical Academic Pathway. 

External positions

Professor, Cardiff Metropolitan University

1 Jul 2023 → …

Director, North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT)

1 Apr 2018 → …

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