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Community Macmillan Specialist Lymphoedema Service

The community macmillan specialist lymphoedema service is part of County Durham and Darlington Community Health Services. Although the team is quite small at present, we cover a large area which includes Teesside, parts of North Yorkshire and most of County Durham and Darlington.

How can we help you?

Lymphoedema affects at least 100,000 people in the UK. It can cause swelling of the arms, legs or body and can sometimes be very disabling. It can affect mobility, the ability to do everyday things like writing or peeling potatoes and can sometimes affect your body image. We can help by treating your symptoms in several ways- this might be in your home or in a local community hospital clinic.

Who are we and what do we do?

Specialist lymphoedema practitioners are highly skilled in looking after people with lymphoedema and cellulitis.  We have had extensive training in treating complex problems.  Although lymphoedema can't be cured, we will offer treatment, advice and support so that your symptoms are improved and controlled.  This is really important because if it is left untreated the condition will deteriorate.

Helping you to understand your condition and learn how we can help you adapt to doing things a little differently is a key part of our role.  We may treat your symptoms by using special massage techniques or bandaging. Skin care advice and help with movement and exercise is really useful, and we can supply special garments or stockings should they be necessary to help you manage your symptoms.

We also help other health professionals to understand and treat lymphoedema by providing educational courses, with the help of Teesside University.  This means that other people who may be involved in your care, for example hospital and hospice staff, or district nursing teams will all have the information, knowledge and skills needed to ensure you receive the best possible care.

Service Information

The Macmillan specialist lympheodema service is a community based service that covers parts of North Yorkshire, Teesside (including Hartlepool) and most of County Durham and Darlington.  Some of our patients are seen at home,  but we hold regular clinics in the Richardson Hospital, Barnard Castle; Weardale Community Hospital in Stanhope; and Butterwick Hospital, Bishop Auckland.

You can access the service through your GP, district nurse, other health professional who is looking after you, or by telephoning our office:

Tel: 01740 626649

Our office opening hours are 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday. 

(If our lines are busy and we can't answer immediately, please leave a short message, including your phone number and we will call you back at the earliest opportunity).

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital