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Lymphoedema Service

Specialist Assessment and Treatment for Lymphoedema at the Jennifer Neale Unit, Braintree Community Hospital.


Our Lymphoedema Service, based at the Jennifer Neale Unit in Braintree Community Hospital, provides comprehensive assessment and treatment for both primary and secondary Lymphoedema. 

Service Details

What is Lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues. It can affect any part of the body, but usually develops in the arms or legs. It develops when the lymphatic system does not work properly.

Primary lymphoedema (uncommon) caused by a faulty gene that mutated, usually occurs at birth but may develop later in life.

Secondary Lymphoedema (common) The lymphatic system become overloaded or damaged and unable to move the lymphatic fluid away. Most common causes venous insufficiency, obesity, trauma/injury, surgery cancer, cellulitis (infection), immobility, medications and some uncontrolled health condition for example the heart or kidney.

Treatment for Lymphoedema/Chronic Oedema

We offer individualised, specialised treatments of care for Lymphoedema:
• Skin care.
• Compression therapy (garments, wraps or bandaging).
• Simple lymphatic drainage (SLD).
• Exercise and movement advice.

For those with complex Lymphoedema, intensive therapy options are also available.

Eligibility Criteria 

This service is available to adults registered with a GP in the NHS Mid Essex area.
Exclusions: Patients with a wound or certain underlying conditions, such as uncontrolled heart/cardiac disease, severe arterial disease, severe peripheral neuropathy, untreated deep vein thrombosis, may not be suitable for treatment.

Treatment outcomes are poor for morbidly obese patients. Patients with a BMI over 40 must be referred to Provide’s Essex Lifestyle Service for lifestyle support.

Referral Process

Referrals must be made by a Healthcare Professional, such as your General Practitioner (GP), Nurse or Consultant. A photograph of the lymphoedema area to be attached to the referral.

Following referral, patients should expect to be seen within 12 weeks. Priority is given based on individual needs.

If you meet the lymphoedema service criteria.

What happens next:

A telephone appointment will be booked with a Lymphoedema Nurse to establish the cause of the lymphoedema. During the telephone conversation the nurse will ask about your medical history, medication, pain, previous cellulitis and history of the oedema. At the end of this call, a face-to-face appointment will be booked in one our clinics for physical examination. See ‘Tips before you attend your first appointment’ in the documents section.

Please always wear or bring your compression therapy (hosiery/stockings/wraps) to every appointment.

Operating hours:

Braintree Community Hospital:
Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm.

Halstead Hospital:
One day a month (Second Tuesday of the month)
8am to 4pm.

Please note, the service is closed on Bank Holidays.

Call Us

0300 1310 111

Useful Links

Lymphoedema/Oedema Information

Cancer related Lymphoedema:

Compression Therapy, Movement & Exercise, Skin Care, Gait & biomechanics and Healthy lifestyle:

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD):


Contact Us

If you are registered with SystmOnline you will be able to view your own Electronic Medical Record (EMR), manage your appointments, request repeat medication, update contact details and message your healthcare service. There is also a SystmOnline app available for Apple and Android devices.

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