British Journal of Nursing Awards 2019 success for SEHSCT Team

2nd prize in the 2019 BJN Chronic Oedema award was presented to Vivienne Murdoch for her role in the SEHSCT’s project looking to educate GP Practice nursing teams within the trust area. The aim was to ensure that all patients with simple chronic oedema in each practice were identified, correctly diagnosed and managed, and that the permanent staff in each practice gained a full knowledge of simple oedema management. Additionally, those identified with more complex oedema were referred to the lymphoedema team. 

The project ensures correct management of each patient according to hierarchy of need, reduces actual GP footfall and ensures improved prescribing and therefore financial prudency.

The project was funded in partnership by the SEHSCT and the Local Commissioning Group, and has successfully received a 2ndyear of project funding.

The other team members were Helen Creighton (Pharmacy) and Pippa McCabe (lymphoedema).

Well done SEHSCT team!!

Lymphoedema Awareness Week(LAW), March 2019

International Lymphoedema Awareness Week (LAW) is held in March each year and is an opportunity to help share information about what lymphoedema is  and how it can be managed. The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust Lymphoedema Leads Jill  Lorimer and Gillian McCollum created 2 videos to share this message. Jill talks about the conditon and this is followed by one the trust’s services users describing living with lymphoedema.

The press release link is:  

The National Lymphoedema Partnership (NLP) utilised LAW to launch the new national lymphoedema commissioning guidelines in Westminster.

The event was hosted by Ms Tonia Antoniazzi MP. LNNI is a core member of the NLP group and was actively involved in the sharing of multi-media messages in the run up to this event.

The National Lymphoedema Partnership (NLP) launch of the new commissioning guidelines

The NLP celebrated the launch of the new UK lymphoedema commissioning guidelines at Portcullis House, Westminster on 5th March 2019. The event was hosted by Ms Tonia Antoniazzi MP.

The NLP is a strategic forum for those directly/indirectly involved in supporting patients diagnosed with lymphoedema, and a platform to discuss and work towards improving patient outcomes, service provision and availability of standardised care within the UK. The South of Ireland is also a stakeholder due to its close proximity and the potential for “Crossborder healthcare and patient mobility in Europe” as a result of 2014 EU legislation.

NLP Aims:

  • To facilitate a shared understanding of lymphoedema service provision and its impact upon the patient, services and society within the UK/Eire.
  • To identify, discuss and address issues of common concern and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort

  • To exchange ideas, strengthen skills and share examples of good practice

  • To work with stakeholders and organisations in the development of national lymphoedema guidelines for services provision in the UK/Eire.

  • To influence external agencies in the recognition/impact of lymphoedema/chronic oedema, and to improve service provision/facilities

The key launch messages:

  • Lymphoedema is a common, under-recognised condition, and often mismanaged in the community
  • Treatment will improve quality of life and prevent complications, including recurrent infections
  • Lymphoedema treatment must be made available by all Commissioning Groups to improve care and save money
  • More than 420,000 people in the UK are living with Lymphoedema
  • It is as common as Alzheimer’s disease, 4 times as common as HIV, and 12 times as common as Multiple Sclerosis
  • 1 in 5 women with breast cancer will get it
  • Lymphoedema is associated with many health problems if left untreated:
    • cellulitis infections, often needing hospital admission
    • wounds and leg ulcers, Mobility problems, pain, psychological issues...
    • Management of complications is costly to the NHS
  • Early diagnosis and treatment is vital for achieving the best outcomes for the patient and the NHS
  • Cellulitis causes 400,000 bed days per year in UK - costing more than £254 millionper year
  • The introduction of a London lymphoedema service created 94% decrease in cellulitis incidence, with 87% reduction in hospital admissions that year
  • Potential NHS saving of more than £200 million per year (England figure) if we can deliver lymphoedema care to everyone
  • What needs to happen next:
    • Sufficient numbers of Lymphoedema treatment clinics within every CCG (England) and across the UK
    • No discrimination between cancer-related and non-cancer related Lymphoedema. Equity is essential
    • This will improve care and save £millions for the NHS
    • Launch and acceptance of the NLP Commissioning Guidance for Lymphoedema Services
    • Joint working with the NLP and Commissioning Groups

The NLP’s 2019 UK Lymphoedema Commissioning Guidelines and key point summary

See attached documents for full details.

2nd All Ireland Lymphoedema conference announced

LNNI is delighted to announce that the 2nd All Ireland Lymphoedema conference will be held on 13th November 2019 at An Grianan near Drogheda. Further details and applications forms will follow. Our 1st keynote speaker is Ms Rebecca Elwell who will present on dermatological conditions and how they impact on our care provision.

The Legs Matter coalition launches national campaign to raise awareness of lower leg and foot health

The Legs Matter coalition launches national campaign to raise awareness of lower leg and foot health

A national campaign to raise awareness of a significant but largely hidden health challenge was launched in Newcastle today. The Legs Matter campaign is designed to get the nation thinking and talking about, and taking action on leg and foot conditions, including non-healing wounds, varicose veins and oedema.  

It comes as research shows that the annual cost to the NHS of managing non-healing wounds is estimated to be up to £5.4 billion. Leg and foot conditions have also been shown to lead to loneliness and depression if people do not get the correct care. Despite this, conditions of the leg and foot do not currently receive the care or attention they urgently need. The campaign (which features real people living with leg and foot conditions) and sets out to change that. 

The campaign is led by a coalition of eight healthcare organisations including The Tissue Viability Society, The British Lymphology Society, Accelerate CIC, The College of Podiatry, The Society of Vascular Nurses, The Lindsay Leg Club Foundation, Foot in Diabetes UK and The Leg Ulcer Forum. The organisations have come together to make sure that anyone with a lower leg or foot problem understands their condition and gets the urgent care, attention and support they need.

Dr Una Adderley, Lecturer in Community Nursing at the University of Leeds and Tissue Viability Society Trustee, says: “We want the Legs Matter campaign to raise awareness of leg and foot problems and help people get the care and support they need. Our aim is to help doctors and nurses understand what these patients need and at the same time raise this issue as a commissioning priority for those who organise healthcare services.” 

The campaign is asking the public to stand up for their own leg and foot health by paying attention to their legs and feet, going to their pharmacist or GP if things aren’t looking right and demanding better or different care if your leg or foot isn’t getting better.

The campaign is also calling on healthcare professionals to recognise the signs and symptoms of lower leg and foot problems, talk to their patients about their lower leg and foot health and lobby for better services for patients. 

The Legs Matter collation will also be working with NHS decision-makers to increase awareness of how much inadequate leg and foot care costs the system, and to focus on shaping a system that makes legs and feet a higher priority.

Sources: To access campaign materials assets:

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) study conducted by Professor Julian Guest ii Briggs, M. & Flemming, K. 2007. Living with leg ulceration: a synthesis of qualitative research. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 319-328.

British Lymphology Society Conference, October 2018



British Lymphology Society 2016 - Consensus Document on the Management of Cellulitis in Lymphoedema

Cellulitis is an acute spreading inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissues characterised by pain, warmth, swelling and erythema. Cellulitis is sometimes called erysipelas or lymphangitis. In lymphoedema, attacks are variable in presentation and may differ from classical cellulitis. Most episodes are believed to be caused by Group A Streptococci (Mortimer 2000, Cox 2009). However, microbiologists consider Staph aureus to be the cause in some patients (e.g. Chira and Miller, 2010).

Some episodes are accompanied by severe systemic upset, with high fever and rigors; others are milder, with minimal or no fever. Increased swelling of the affected area may occur. Inflammatory markers (CRP, ESR) may be raised. It is difficult to predict response to treatment. Cellulitis can be difficult to diagnose and to distinguish from other causes of inflammation particularly in the legs e.g. lipodermatosclerosis. Cellulitis most commonly affects one leg only whereas lipodermatosclerosis more commonly affects both legs.

A Cochrane review concluded that it was not possible to define the best treatment for cellulitis in general based upon existing evidence (Kilburn et al 2010). Furthermore, the treatment of cellulitis in lymphoedema may differ from conventional cellulitis.

With this background, this consensus document makes recommendations about the use of antibiotics for cellulitis in patients with lymphoedema, and advises when admission to hospital is indicated. Prompt treatment is essential to avoid further damage to the lymphatics of the affected part which in turn may predispose to repeated attacks. 

BLS Positon paper for ABPI: informing decision making prior to the application of compression hosiery

LNNI and the TVNNI are pleased to help launch the BLS Positon paper for ABPI: informing decision making prior to the application of compression hosiery. LNNI and TVNNI developed a Best practice paper in 2016, on which this 2018 national consensus document is based.

LNNI welcome launch of Safefood posters: cereal, yogurts and energy drinks – the hidden sugar, fats and calories

LNNI would like to help raise awareness of the hidden sugars in our regularly consumed food by supporting the launch of the new Safefood posters: cereal, yogurts and energy drinks – the hidden sugar, fats and calories

What’s in your cereal?

What’s in your child’s yoghurt?

Lifting the lid on energy drinks,-Diet-and-Health/Eating-In/Drinks/Facts-about-energy-drinks.aspx

NI Leg Ulcer Forum Conference “Lymphorrhea Management” - 25th October 2018


8.30-9.30am Registration. Tea/Coffee. Exhibition viewing
9.30-9.45am Welcome and Opening Remarks
9.45-12.30pm The Chronic Oedema “Wet Leg” (Lymphorrhoea) Pathway
Karen Morgan National Lymphoedema Research and Education Lead in Wales
12.30-2.00pm Lunch & Exhibition Viewing
2.00-3.00pm Delegate Question and Answer Session/Expert Panel
3.00-3.45pm Legal Issues in Nursing
Rosemary Wilson Legal, Health and Social Care Education
3.45-4.00pm Close

Conference Fee: £35