Haven launches innovative new support scheme

L-R ' Anne Williams, Lymphoedema Nurse Consultant and Karen King, Haven Nurse Specialist.
L-R ' Anne Williams, Lymphoedema Nurse Consultant and Karen King, Haven Nurse Specialist.

The Haven, a charity based in Forth which provides support to people affected by a range of life-limiting illnesses, has launched a brand new support service.

The innovative scheme is directly aimed at those affected by or at risk of cancer-related Lymphoedema.

The condition is relatively unheard of; however it occurs in around one-in-five people who have had breast cancer treatment and is also associated with a variety of other cancers.

Lymphoedema is a type of swelling that occurs when the lymphatic system does not easily drain fluid from areas of the body.

The Haven has been delivering innovative lymphoedema self-management support activities at its Blantyre and Wishaw centres since 2010 and has a unique programme of support from an experienced team of nurses and therapists. The service has now expanded into the centre in Forth to support the people of Clydesdale.

Early intervention is proven to be invaluable in avoiding the onset of long-term problems with swelling, cellulitis and reduced quality of life associated with lymphoedema which, if left untreated, can lead to a distressing and costly health crises.

Louise Gardner, service development co-ordinator at The Haven said: “Lymphoedema can be challenging but with the right advice and support, at an early stage it can be well managed.

“We are delighted that our cancer-related Lymphoedema programme has now been launched in Forth which will see us offering advice and support for people in the Clydesdale area with the condition or those at risk of it, through our individual and group support activities. All our Haven services are free to our clients, and clients can self-refer.

“Early identification of lymphoedema can help reduce the risk of complications such as infection, which may require hospital admission, so it is important that anyone at risk of, or are already experiencing the symptoms gets in touch so we can help and support them.”