Lymphoedema

​​​​​​The lymphoedema team wearing odd socks to help raise awareness during Lymphoedema Awareness Week in March. From left to right: Rebecca, Jenny, Jayne and Emma

Lymphoedema is a long term condition which affects people of all ages and for a variety of reasons. It is a chronic swelling (oedema) that can affect any part of the body but most commonly affects arms and legs. Please click here to view the Lymphoedema Support Network (LSN) information page 'What is lymphoedema?'  

About the service

The lymphoedema service is nurse-led, with assessment and treatments provided on an outpatient basis to both cancer and non-cancer patients. Clinics are held every week day at the Cancer Centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital (RSUH). 

Our clinical team members are:

  • Rebecca Elwell, Macmillan Advanced Nurse Practitioner for Lymphoedema - click here to read about Rebecca

  • Emma Pritchard, Macmillan Lymphoedema Clinical Nurse Specialist

  • Jenny Neale, Macmillan Lymphoedema Nurse Specialist

  • Jayne Waltho, Lymphoedema Health Care Assistant

  • Helen Clarke and Deborah White, Lymphoedema Administrators

Our admin team members are:


Pictured: Deborah White and Helen Clarke 

  • Deborah White, Lymphoedema Administrator

  • Helen Clarke, Lymphoedema Administrator

Referrals are accepted from any healthcare professional for patients of all ages.  If self-referrals are received, the patient's GP will be contacted for information. Consultations are provided for patients with any type of oedema including primary Lymphoedema (genetic/inherited types and lymphovascular malformations), secondary Lymphoedema (including cancer-related lymphoedema), chronic oedema due to venous insufficiency, post thrombotic syndrome, trauma and Lipoedema.   

If you are referred to the service you will undergo a full holistic assessment, taking into account your physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. Following this diagnosis will be made and an individualised treatment plan will be formulated. Information about the condition will be given and you will be able to discuss the diagnosis and its implications to your lifestyle. The aim of the lymphoedema service is to assist patients to manage the oedema and reduce the impact it has on daily life. Self-management is an essential part of Lymphoedema care and you will be instructed in any relevant techniques necessary. Information will be provided in a variety of formats, including patient information leaflets, booklets and visual aids such as DVDs. 

Treatment plans may include the following: skin care advice, exercise, healthy eating advice, compression hosiery, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), Simple Lymphatic Drainage (SLD), Intermittent Pneumatic Compression (IPC), deep oscillation therapy and kinesio taping. Some patients may require a more intensive therapy including multi-layer lymphoedema bandaging. You will attend the clinic regularly to start with, and then be seen less frequently. The aim is to reach a point where you can care for your lymphoedema yourself without the need for further intervention from the clinic.

Occasionally more specialist assessment and management is required. Referrals can also be made to specialist centres. The Royal Derby Hospital has a consultant-led lymphoedema clinic and St George's Hospital in London is a 'centre for excellence', providing advice to other lymphoedema services both nationally and internationally. They also have strong links with the genetic and research departments.


Contact information

Email: lymphoedemaclinic@uhnm.nhs.uk

Telephone: 01782 676688 Fax: 0843 636 5179

The telephone is answered Monday – Friday between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Outside of these hours an answer phone is in operation. If we are unavailable to take your call please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible. For any urgent calls, please contact your GP or 111.

If you have any questions regarding your appointment or are unable to attend, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

When you arrive

Please allow plenty of time for parking.

The clinic is located in the Cancer Centre on the first floor. Please report to Ward 202 reception on your arrival. Please note that we treat cancer and non-cancer patients. The clinic is based at the Cancer Centre for location purposes only.

 

Support

We have a support group SLIMBS (The Staffordshire Lymphoedema Information Management Buddying and Support Group - please click here for more information) who meet on the last Tuesday of every month at the Quaker Meeting House, Miller Street, Newcastle, ST5 1QJ. 

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Red Legs Service

The Red Legs Service which, also run by the Lymphoedema service, has been set up to provide care for patients with bilateral 'red legs', often mistaken for cellulitis. The cause of red legs may be due to a variety of conditions and a number of specialities have worked together with patients to develop the referral and treatment criteria. Referrals will be accepted from any healthcare professional. For any patient with bilateral leg redness, the patient must be systemically well, apyrexial and able to attend an outpatient appointment. Patients with unilateral redness will only be accepted if DVT has been excluded. Clinics are held once a week, on a Tuesday at Bradwell Hospital Talke Rd, Chesterton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Newcastle ST5 7NJ. If you are a patient and think you may have this condition, please contact your GP. If you are a healthcare professional and wish to have further information regarding red legs, please click here to view the Red Leg Pathway​.

Patient testimonials and praise for our staff

Rebecca Elwell - UHNM Hero


Patient Liz Drew thanked Beccy Elwell for being a "true and consistent hero". Beccy is known internationally for her work and research on lymphoedema. Liz wrote to the hospital to praise Beccy for the outstanding care and support she has given. Click here​ to read the full story​.

Click here to read more about Rebecca's clinical expertise​

Other patients have also praised the lymphoedema service….

"I really appreciated the way in which you explained the problem I have with my legs and also the examination you gave me. When you get older it is not always easy to follow and remember what has been said so I sincerely thank you for the excellent way you dealt with my problem.  I feel now I understand lymphoedema much better.  If I could give you marks, I'd give you 10/10!"

"Thank you so much for all your hard work to help me feel better than I have in a long time, ladies you are such really nice people."

"I think that once they found out what was causing the swelling and redness, being referred to the red leg clinic has more or less sorted out my problem. I would 100% recommend the service."

"On my first assessment things were explained in a very clear way and the staff were very knowledgeable and understanding, 10/10."​


Other useful websites 

Lipodema UK 

Lipodema Ladies 

Lymphoedema Support Network 

The British Lymphology Society 

NHS UK ​

Legs Matter ​​​​

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