Newcastle education scheme to be extended

A pilot scheme at a Newcastle hospice which helps patients with a long-term illness to manage their condition has proved so successful it will be extended.

St Oswald's Hospice ran the one-year Patient Education Programme within its Lymphoedema Service.

It was designed to give patients knowledge and skills to be able to self-manage their condition.

Each programme runs for six weeks and covers skin care, exercise and movement, nutrition, lifestyle changes, lymphatic massage and use of compression garments.

"Lymphoedema can be managed effectively when diagnosed and treated early and this includes the promotion of self care.

"We've always provided education to our Lymphoedema patients during their appointments - however, patients told us they can feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they have to take in.

"Our new programme allows us to provide practical help and advice in bite-size chunks.

"The sessions also provide an opportunity for patients to share their experiences, support each other and consider how to cope with a chronic condition."

– Jill Lisle, practice development lead

St Oswald's has been providing a Lymphoedema Service for the last 25 years.

It now supports more than 1,400 patients from across the North East.

"Due to the success of the pilot we will be continuing the Patient Education Programme, inviting the majority of our patients to take part from now on, and we are looking forward to developing the programme further."

– Jill Lisle, practice development lead