For health professionals: When to refer to the Face Place

All GP referrals now need to access The Face Place clinic service via the National eReferral Service.

Referral during the acute phase of facial weakness

The majority of patients with a facial palsy (Bell’s Palsy) will recover following a course of steroids.

However, some patients benefit from referral to the Face Place during the early stages of their condition. During the early stages of facial palsy the muscles can become overactive on the normal side as they try to compensate for the lack of movement on the weak side of the face.

At the Face Place patients are given advice, practical help and support to address difficulties they may have with eating, speaking and oral hygiene. They are also given guidance on how to improve their facial symmetry at rest and when they should start a facial exercise programme. Reassurance and emotional support at this time is very important as for most patients it is a very distressing condition.

Referral during later stages

Patients with a residual facial weakness and or develop synkinesis (mass movement) during the later stages of  their recovery benefit from an exercise programme that  targets the residual weakness or abnormal movement patterns. Each individual is provided with their own unique exercise plan which recognises and addresses their needs throughout the course of their recovery.