Inaugural All Ireland Lymphoedema Conference

Inaugural All Ireland Lymphoedema Conference

LNNI [Lymphoedema Network Northern Ireland] and the HSE collaborated to hold the first All Ireland Conference on Lymphoedema.

Kay Morris of HSE presenting at the Inaugural All Ireland Lymphoedema Conference
Kay Morris of HSE presenting at the Inaugural All Ireland Lymphoedema Conference

The Conference was held on Wednesday 15th November in the beautiful sylvan setting of the Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre, just outside Newry in Co. Down.  Nearly all the committee members of Lymphoedema Ireland attended the event, to gain as much information as possible from our northern counterparts, as well as hearing the new recommendations from our own HSE Lymphoedema Project Manager, KAY MORRIS.

The day started at 10am with an introduction by BRIAN MURPHY who is Head of Planning, Performance and Project Management in the HSE.  He expressed the hope that we could learn from and share our experiences of treating Lymphoedema with our northern counterparts, with the hope that a similar event could be held in a year’s time in the Republic of Ireland.

PROFESSOR CHRISTINE MOFFATT, CBE Co-Chair, International Lymphoedema Framework (ILF), spoke at length and in detail about the results of an International Epidemiology Study which examined the size and impact of chronic oedema on the health services.  She also talked about the clinical dilemma in relation to “Lymphoedema and Obesity”.

Our own NINA MURRAY then gave an impassioned speech on her own personal journey with Lymphoedema. I’d say a lot of people had to reach for their tissues, I know I did.

There followed many very interesting and informative talks given by a variety of specialists including:

JANE RANKIN, M.B.E., Lymphoedema Network Northern Ireland, who spoke about the development of a regional service.

PIPPA MCCABE, from the Lymphoedema Lead South Eastern, Health and Social Care Trust, told us about water based exercises and the development of a new App.

GILLIAN MCCOLLUM, Lymphoedema Lead Belfast, Health and Social Care Trust, informed us about “Breast Cancer pre-habilitation, education and self- empowerment.”

LYNNE WHITESIDE, Lymphoedema Lead and GILLIAN MCCONAGHIE, Clinical Specialist, Southern Health and Social Care Trust, explained the “Healthy Legs Project.”

JILL HAMILTON, Lymphoedema Lead, Western Health and Social Care Trust and MARY COSTELLO, P.H.N. with the HSE told us about “Prescribing and Procurement”.

KAREN MORGAN, National Lymphoedema Education and Research Lead, Wales, informed us of “The Wet Legs (Lymphorrea) Pathway”.

MICHELLE TENNYSON, Assistant Director, Allied Health Professionals and Personal and Public Involvement, Public Health Agency, closed the conference at 3.30pm and attendees had time to peruse several stands where companies who sell appliances and hosiery were displaying their wares.

I was glad I attended the event as I learnt a lot and can see the advantage of any collaboration between both North and South.  As the old saying goes “Two heads are better than one”.

 – Mary Browne, Secretary, Lymphoedema Ireland

You can find the conference presentations here: