Compton Lymphoedema Care was established 21 years ago to support palliative and curative patients with a lifelong condition. It has been identified in the business plan that there’s a need to review lymphoedema referrals in terms of numbers and quality to provide optimum and timely patient care. If lymphoedema is recognised early, physical complications can be minimised (Cooper, 2010).
Aims To improve the referral process for our stakeholders. To improve stakeholders’ knowledge of lymphoedema. To improve patients’ experience by encouraging early intervention for best symptom management.
Methods An audit of referrals was conducted during 22/05/2017 to 26/07/2017. This was achieved by logging all referrals, locality, referrer name and designation. This was to map what GP practices, community/secondary services were referring and identify gaps in areas across the city to ascertain engagement and training needs.
A survey was undertaken through SurveyMonkey to measure stakeholders’ knowledge of the service, time limit 15/08/2017 – 30/08/2017. Five questions were identified, the name of the organisation was requested and job role but anonymity was respected.
Outcome From the audit 92 referrals were received during the time period from a combination of primary and secondary services clearly showing gaps in areas across the city. 200 surveys were sent out and 65 responses received. Key findings were:
98% of people had heard of Compton Lymphoedema Care but knowledge and understanding of the services offered differed
28% of professionals weren’t aware of the support group
25% were unsure how or who could refer.
Conclusion The project was successful in identifying a snap-shot of demographic data across the city that has clearly identified gaps. Furthermore, the survey has identified a need for increased community engagement, improved communication, marketing strategies and education. Early intervention supports best patient management and reduces risks associated with long term swelling (British Lymphoedema Society, 2010).
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