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HRCH supports Lymphoedema Awareness Week

lymphoedema patient, Jeremy Burns
Local patient, Jeremy Burns - with lymphoedema specialist Addie Mitchell

Monday 7 March 2016

Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare (HRCH) is getting behind this year’s annual Lymphoedema Awareness Week, which takes place between 6 – 12 March 2016. 

The national campaign, run by the British Lymphology Society, aims to raise awareness of the condition and highlight the treatment options available for patients.

HRCH's lymphoedema service, one of its newest services in Richmond, is supporting the campaign by highlighting the range of treatment and innovative care that they offer for local patients with lymphoedema in the borough of Richmond - a lifelong and incurable condition that causes body tissues to swell.

Lymphoedema patients often require regular check-ups and treatment for the rest of their life – the condition can have a profound effect on the quality of life for both the individual and their families.  Untreated, lymphoedema can cause frequent health problems and requires regular district nursing attention for weeping legs and associated leg ulcers - often resulting in hospital admissions with recurrent cellulitis. 

Local lymphoedema patient, Jeremy Burns, lives in Teddington and used to work as a baggage handler for British Airways. He has had lymphoedema for ten years, and was transferred initially to HRCH’s tissue viability team from St George’s Hospital, so the local team could treat his blisters and leg ulcers.

Jeremy has now been in the care of Addie Mitchell, a lymphoedema specialist nurse at HRCH, and the lymphoedema team for two months. Addie and another of the trust’s nurses, Grace Osae, see Jeremy twice a week to wash his legs, feet and toes, dress the ulcers, using compression bandages and stockings to help shape his legs.

Jeremy said: “I’m quite prepared to go the hospital but having the nurses come to visit is better and I’m much happier. I think the service is very good and I’m lucky to be there. I have no complaints about the service at all.”

Addie said: “It’s good that we’re able to work in this way and visit patients in their home to treat them because we don’t want to take away the patient’s freedom. It’s important that our treatment allows patient to retain their independence.”

HRCH can also provide local residents with information about lymphoedema and how the service can support those in the Richmond borough living with it.

For more information on treatment available please call 020 8714 4085 or email Edwin.Chamanga@hrch.nhs.uk