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Self care and patient carer information
Lymphoedema is an incurable chronic condition that can be managed and controlled if properly assessed and treated. Empowering and motivating this patient group to be self caring and engage in the prescribed care plan is essential to achieve a successful outcome.
Providing specialist lymphoedema care and engaging in self care the patient could achieve the following:
- Improved quality of life
- Improved healthy lifestyles
- Improved psychosocial well-being
- Improved mobility
- Promotion of self care and increased independence
- Avoidance of hospital admission with cellulitis
- Improved health professional collaborative working relationships
- Promotion of wound healing and potentially reduce frequency of other professional teams resources
- Ensured quality of care
Patient and carer information is paramount. A wide range of written information is available for those with lymphoedema and care is taken to select appropriate leaflets for individual patients with their differing individual needs. Written information includes those from the Lymphoedema Support Network a national group which promotes patient information. Written information also includes BACUP, Macmillan, Breast Cancer Care, Haven and the service has also developed its own advice sheets.
It is ensured that carers are involved in patient information as appropriate and in some circumstances the carer is taught techniques such as skin care and massage.
The service is an advisory and educational resource for members of the HPCT, Care Homes, Social Services and Community Hospitals.
A variety of educational programmes are provided for health care professionals, with an aim to ensure evidence based care and a standard approach to patients.