Debbie Sell

Dr Debbie Sell is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Outcomes and Experience Research in Children’s Health, Illness and Disability (ORCHID), and is a Speech and Language Therapist.
Previously in leadership and clinical roles in GOSH, she now focuses on research, mentoring and supervision, together with teaching and independent clinical practice. She is a mentor on the NIHR scheme.


Dr Sell’s specialisms include speech disorders associated with cleft lip and palate, nasal sounding speech, perceptual and instrumental assessment, speech prosthetics and 22q11 Deletion Syndrome. She has led on developing and testing speech outcome tools in cleft palate/VPI, setting standards for measuring surgically related speech outcomes and has been involved in several multicentre national and international studies of speech outcome (Eurocleft, UK CSAG, CCUK and the Americleft studies).


ORCHID (GOSH); associated with the North Thames Regional Cleft Service and the Speech and Language Therapy Department.

Qualifications and training


Research interests

Debbie’s current research includes:

  • Parents undertaking articulation therapy in children with cleft palate, supported by therapists and technology; a collaboration with colleagues in Dublin, known as Speech at Home 
  • Speech outcomes in 3 year olds with cleft palate
  • Development of training programmes e.g. “training the trainer” 
  • Using the everyday clinical setting to create evidence e.g. through single case experimental design

Debbie has published over 80 peer-reviewed publications, and serves as Associate editor for the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal and is a member of the 22q11 All Parliamentarium Group.