Lymphoedema is a swelling of the tissues which occurs when fluid builds up due to poor lymphatic drainage. It can involve any part of the body, it is most common in the arms and legs.

The lymphatic system transports fluid from the body's tissues back into the circulation through a network of lymphatic vessels. It is when these drainage routes are blocked or damaged or have failed to develop properly that a build up of fluid in the tissues occurs.

Primary Lymphoedema is usually caused by an abnormal or underdeveloped lymphatic system.

Secondary Lymphoedema is due to damage or blockage of the lymphatics caused by a secondary source such as cancer treatment, surgery, infection, trauma, obesity or poor vein function. Lymphoedema cannot be cured, however with treatment from a Lymphoedema Specialist and self care strategies, the condition can often be managed and quality of life maintained.

Aims of the Service

The community Lymphoedema nurse-led service is based at the Acorn Primary Health Care Centre in Accrington. The service specialises in the management of lymphoedema and chronic oedema.

Delivering high-quality evidence-based care for multiple causes of lymphoedema, including cancer and non-cancer.

  • To provide a holistic assessment and individualised treatment plan
  • Provide advice, education and support to promote self-management in a variety of settings to include primary and secondary settings
  • Promote risk reducing advice.
  • Reducing the risk of infection through education.
  • Skin care
  • Exercise
  • Compression garments
  • Palliative management
  • Multi-Layer bandaging
  • Simple lymphatic drainage
  • Manual Lymphatic drainage
  • Kinesio taping

The service has specialist equipment to facilitate treatments, including lymphatouch, pneumatic compression, low level light therapy and deep oscillation therapy.

Service outcomes

To support and work closely with members of the multi-disciplinary team within the community in order to prevent complications and unnecessary hospital admissions.

  • To optimise patients physical, psychological and social wellbeing.
  • To improve patient outcomes with enhancing self- management.
  • Advice and support for patient relatives and carers.
  • Signposting / referrals onto other services.
  • To increase the awareness of lymphoedema to the wider community.
Meet the team

The team consists of clinical nurse specialists, keyworkers and a health care practitioner specially trained in the prevention, treatment and management of lymphoedema.

Referral into the service

Referrals are accepted from GPs and other members of the multi-disciplinary team

On completion of the service referral form, to be sent to: 

Criteria for acceptance

- Patients aged 18 or over

- Patients with an east Lancashire GP

Contact and availability

The service is available Monday – Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm

Please contact 01254 – 736217

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