The London Lymphoedema Community of Practice (CoP)
The Lymphoedema Community of Practice (CoP) is funded and supported by the North East Cancer Alliance on behalf of the four Cancer Alliances and the Transforming Cancer Services Team in London. The CoP allows a forum for shared practice, supporting lymphoedema practitioners to improve the care delivered by their services and thereby improving patient experience and outcomes.
The CoP builds on the work funded by the NHS and Macmillan and delivered by TCST during 2016-20. Commissioning guidance and a suite of resources produced, with the support of the CoP, can be found here.
Membership of the CoP is open to any health or social care professional with an interest in lymphoedema. Meetings are held every 6-8 weeks and take place remotely via MS teams. If you would like any more information about the CoP, or to join, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Background and purpose
A key recommendation of the Commissioning Guidance for Lymphoedema Services for Adults Living with and Beyond Cancer (by the Transforming Cancer Services Team for London) was to ‘scope the feasibility of developing a pan-London Lymphoedema Network to provide peer support, disseminate knowledge and skills, share good practice and improve research and development opportunities.’
With previous support from Macmillan Cancer Support (MCS), and now from the North East London Cancer Alliance, the London Lymphoedema Community of Practice was set up in 2019 with facilitation to support its functioning.
Membership is drawn from across London with representation from all STPs and holds a wealth of expertise.
The agreed purpose of the CoP is ‘to improve our lymphoedema patients’ outcomes by providing a professional forum for discussion of relevant issues’ by actively networking to:
- Share best practice, raising standards and supporting the development of new services
- Share and learn from each other
- Act as a support network in particular for those who are lone workers
- Engage in benchmarking and peer review
- Develop and promote the knowledge base around lymphoedema
- Engage in collaborative research
- Collectively increase awareness of lymphoedema and raise its profile
- Influence, for example by supporting the development of national guidance
The CoP has achieved much since its inception including revising the Commissioning Guidance with Dr Karen Robb, producing a database of case studies and undertaking a pan London feasibility study of a minimum data set.
As a result of this collaborative work, the CoP has been given the opportunity to influence the Healthy London Partnership via a place on the Personalised Care for Cancer Partnership Board (PC4C). Currently the representative is Nancy Jameson, Lymphoedema Lead Specialist Practitioner, GSTT.
Governance of the CoP is via the NEL Cancer Alliance Personalised Care Delivery Group reporting to Dr Karen Robb.
Current work includes:
- Developing a career pathway for an Advanced Clinical Practitioner role in Lymphoedema alongside learning opportunities for both specialists and other health care professionals.
- Refining the minimum data set and collating data from services across London to help identify characteristics of the lymphoedema patient population