Minister Harris urged to progress Lymphoedema treatment services

Final call for Lymphoedema patients to attend annual Open Day

The Minister for Health has been urged to progress the roll out of planned new Lymphoedema treatment services.

Lymphoedema Ireland, which represents 15,000 patients, is meeting with the Minister next month to discuss the delivery of a new Model of Care, which the HSE has developed.

Chairperson Bernie Traynor said the HSE finalised a first-ever Irish Model of Care for the condition last month – and details are now needed on how and when this will be delivered.

“We are calling on the Minister to sanction the HSE to urgently begin implementation of the badly needed treatment services. Delivering a dedicated model of care will greatly improve outcomes for patients. We also estimate that 15,000 hospital bed nights and €13m in savings can be achieved.”

Approximately 1,000 of these patients are children and Ms Traynor said the development of treatment services should include their needs.

Lymphoedema Ireland also issued a final call for patients from all parts of the country to attend a national Open Day on Saturday, March 30th.

The event will take place at the Ashling Hotel in Dublin and those interested can register for final places at www.lymphireland.com.  It will include the latest information and discussion among patients, families and doctors

The patient group highlighted a need for more public awareness of the condition.

“Lymphoedema involves painful swelling in the body’s tissues. It can affect any part of the body, but usually develops in the arms or legs. Once developed it is a lifelong condition. The best model of care is for patients to have localised access to drainage, bandaging and compression garments. It can either occur genetically or following cancer treatment, particularly breast cancer,” Bernie Traynor said.

Lymphoedema Ireland is a voluntary group representing patients and their carers. It provides information, a telephone helpline, an online discussion forum and an Annual Support Day. 

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.