Once your referral has been accepted and it has been confirmed you are located within our catchment area, an appointment is sent out as soon as possible for you to attend for an initial assessment with the Lymphoedema Practitioner.
The first appointment can take up to 90 minutes depending upon the complexity of individual patients’. The assessment takes place in a private Lymphoedema clinical room within the Well-Being and Support Centre at Woodlands Hospice.
All your information is confidential and only shared with other healthcare professionals with your consent.
The Lymphoedema Practitioner will undertake a thorough assessment this includes past medical history, past operations and treatments, current medication and treatment, and any investigations you may have had. An examination of the affected areas will be carried out and it is recommended you wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
Please ensure you bring a full list of your current medications and treatments; this will enable the Lymphoedema Practitioner to proceed with your agreed treatment plan.
The Lymphoedema Practitioner will assess the following areas if applicable during your assessment, these may include: your activities of daily living; pain assessment; clinical assessment; movement and function assessment; circulatory assessment and a measurement assessment; which measures the affected limbs.
A diagnosis of Lymphoedema/Chronic Oedema is normally given at initial assessment; however some patients may require further investigations via other healthcare professionals prior to a confirmed diagnosis.
Receiving a diagnosis of Lymphoedema can be upsetting; therefore we welcome one family member or close friend to attend your assessment with you. However, for some people a diagnosis of Lymphoedema can be a relief especially if you have had the swelling for a long time without any treatment.
The treatment is focused upon a self-care programme involving a skin care regime, infection (cellulitis) prevention, exercises of the affected area(s), self-massage routine, compression therapy, bandaging and kinesiology taping.
The advice given will be individual to each patient and will involve a thorough assessment and agreement of a tailored treatment plan, this may change over time and re-assessment is required to determine your progress.
It is vital that you are prepared to take part in your treatment plan in order to receive the best outcome. The aim of treatment is stability and self-management. You will be given lots of appropriate information both verbally and written, and will have the opportunity to discuss any worries or concerns you may have.
The Lymphoedema Practitioner works closely with many other health care professionals, such as your GPs, district nurses, physiotherapists, community teams, hospital teams and specialists and consultants. You may also be referred into other services if required such as physiotherapy.
The Lymphoedema Practitioner will order the majority of your treatment via your GP surgery and you will be required to obtain these prescriptions from your GP surgery and pharmacist.
Depending on what garments or treatments have been requested can often depend on the time you may wait for your garments to arrive from pharmacy. It is worth noting that any made-to-measure garments can take up to 14days to be specially made.
A follow-up appointment will be made for you to be seen again at an appropriate time. Re-assessment enables the practitioner to monitor your progress and review the treatment plan. If you need to be seen sooner or have any questions or concern please contact us via telephone and the Lymphoedema Practitioner will aim to return your call within 24 - 48 hours.
It is important that you keep to all of your appointments and allow at least 24 hours notice if you have to cancel or re-arrange. We will always try are best to accommodate your needs, however if you do not attend more than two appointments without forewarning us you will be automatically discharged to your GP and will need a new referral back into clinic.
You will be discharged from the Lymphoedema service once your swelling is maintained and controlled and once you are self-managing your condition well. Many patients that are discharged still require renewal of their garments every six months and therefore your GP will be notified and asked to provide you with a repeat prescription.
Those patients that are non-compliant with their treatment programme and recommendations from the practitioner will be discharged into the care of their GP.
Unfortunately we do not provide any transport to clinics but if you do have difficulty accessing appointments and are unable to use public transport than you may qualify for the North-West patient transport service via ambulance. The Merseyside contact number is 0151 261 2580
Please see the following link for further information:
0151 529 2299
Lymphoedema Support Network
020 7351 4480