Treatment for a chronic condition which commonly affects cancer sufferers is being improved thanks to a partnership between Teesside University and a North-East hospice.
The University has worked with Teesside Hospice to develop an education package for healthcare professionals to address the management of complex lymphoedema.
The Continuous Professional Development (CPD) modules have been developed in conjunction with Macmillan Cancer Support in response to a lack of education nationally about how to treat the condition.
Staff from the hospice will upskill colleagues in the management of lymphoedema through completion of a 20 credit module, which has been accredited and quality-controlled by the University.
Lymphoedema is caused by a problem with the lymphatic system and causes swelling in the body’s tissues – most commonly the arms and legs.
Although there is no cure for the condition, the symptoms can be managed by skin care, exercise and movement, compression and specialist massage.
Teesside Hospice runs a lymphoedema clinic which treats both cancer and non-cancer related lymphoedema.
The 10 day course of study will provide the opportunity to learn the theory and practice of advanced skills in the management of lymphoedema.
Module content will also explore the lack of public awareness, poor professional knowledge, delayed diagnosis and inappropriate treatment resulting in a significant impact on practice. Other practice-related issues including a poor understanding of treatment options among practitioners, a lack of evidence-based practice as well as difficulties associated with managing psychosocial problems and of ensuring concordance with treatment will also be addressed.
Teesside University’s School of Health & Social Care is renowned for its expertise in end-of-life and palliative care.
Students from the school recently organised a two-day conference on end of life care which attracted experts from across the region.
Linda Nelson, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement) of the School of Health & Social Care, said: “We already enjoy an extremely fruitful partnership with Teesside Hospice, with many of our students working on placements there.
“Successful treatment of lymphoedema can have an extremely positive impact on sufferers and staff at the hospice are renowned for their expertise in this regard.
“We were very pleased to work with the hospice to develop modules which will provide increased knowledge and skills for even more healthcare professionals across the country to enable them to manage the condition successfully.”
For more information on service offered by Teesside Hospice visit www.teessidehospice.org.
Further details on courses and services offered by the School of Health and Social Care at Teesside University can be found at www.tees.ac.uk/health&socialcare