Alongside the launch of its redeveloped Wellbeing Hub in November 2020, Bolton Hospice
has continued its successful partnership with specialist cancer centre, The Christie, to
improve services for local patients with lymphoedema.
Lymphoedema is a long term condition that can cause swelling of the body’s tissues and is
frequently disabling for patients, affecting their quality of life. It is caused by problems with
the lymphatic system and can be associated with treatment for cancer. The lymphoedema
clinic at Bolton Hospice, provided by the physiotherapy team at The Christie, was
established in 2015 when a number of health commissioners in Greater Manchester
recognised that the needs of lymphoedema patients in their local areas were not being met.
For several years now, Bolton Hospice and The Christie have enjoyed working in a
successful partnership, to improve lymphoedema services available to the people of Bolton;
and therefore bringing services closer to home at the Bolton Hospice Wellbeing Hub.
Following the redevelopment of its day therapy services, the new Bolton Hospice Wellbeing
Hub opened in November 2020 and is a beautiful, relaxed space that offers a flexible, drop-
in support service with access to specialist services such as The Christie’s lymphoedema
clinic, symptom management, legal advice clinics, outpatient clinics, and wellbeing sessions
such as mindfulness and yoga.
Due to local restrictions and lockdown, Wellbeing Hub services adapted to meet the needs
of patients and face-to-face appointments including those for lymphoedema patients were
temporarily on hold at the Hub. However through the easing of restrictions Bolton Hospice
and The Christie’s team are pleased to be hosting their lymphoedema clinics once again on
a one day a week basis; utilizing the new facilities of the Wellbeing Hub to provide specialist
outpatient care to people in Bolton and beyond.
Bolton resident Ian Hopps, who attends The Christie’s Lymphoedema Clinic at the
Wellbeing Hub shared his personal experience:
“I live locally so it’s a lot more convenient for me to come to the Wellbeing Hub and use the expertise of The Christie for the lymphoedema clinic. Lymphoedema causes swelling and the clinic has been a real big help to me because I’m given advice on what to do, how to keep it under control and how prevent it from getting any worse. I’m hoping to return fully back to normal life within the next 6 months, with the help of clinic.”
Image shows Ian Hopps stood next to the reception desk at the Bolton Hospice
Senior Lymphoedema Physiotherapist Elaine Sibbit added:
“Having the clinic at the Bolton Hospice Wellbeing Hub works really well, because we have a lot of patients in the area. For them to get to The Christie can be very difficult, so it makes sense for me to come here and be nearer to the patients than for them to have to make that journey over to The
Christie in Manchester.”
[Image at the top shows Senior Lymphoedema Physiotherapist Elaine Sibbit with Bolton
resident Ian Hopps in one of the treatment rooms at Bolton Hospice Wellbeing Hub.]
The impact of Covid has been felt across the hospice and its patient services, with
Christie Senior Lymphoedema Physiotherapist Elaine sharing the effects on the clinic
and her experience of the partnership between Bolton Hospice and The Christie to
support patients: “Covid has made it quite difficult, I’ve still been working over at The Christie and patients have all been given the option to be seen there which Ian has chosen to do, however some
patients wished to wait until the clinic at the Wellbeing Hub re-opened. Quite a lot of the
patients have been on hold whilst we have reopened the clinic, so it does work much better
now that we are able to resume.
Everybody at Bolton Hospice is so welcoming and the Wellbeing Hub facilities are lovely.
The team are helpful and very supportive, and the patients really do appreciate the fact that
we can have the service here at the Wellbeing Hub.”
Ian is also a fundraiser and charity shop volunteer for Bolton Hospice, and explained
his personal connection with the hospice:
“I’ve seen the hospice developing over the years which has been fantastic. Patients wouldn’t have had access to these services without the hospice. The hospice services are very important to the local community and further afield. There are some things that you can only get treatment for at hospitals, but now with the Wellbeing Hub you can access the expert services of somewhere like The Christie – plus you can park here which is so convenient for patients. The facilities are second to none.”
My father had prostate cancer in 1998, shortly after the hospice first opened where he had
treatment and palliative care in the last few weeks of his life. Ever since then I’ve been
involved in one form or another with the hospice. I’ve seen a lot of changes and the
development has been unbelievable over the last 5 years especially.”
You can find out more information about the Wellbeing Hub by visiting
About Bolton Hospice
• Our consultant-led team of doctors, nurses and other professional staff provide expert
care and support for local people with terminal or life-limiting illnesses and their families,
in the hospice and at home.
• We care for patients throughout their illness, helping to improve their wellbeing and
quality of life. We also provide compassionate, dedicated and dignified care for patients at
the end of their life.
• We’re an independent charity mainly funded by the people of Bolton. To continue
providing free care and support we need to raise £4 million a year through donations,
fundraising and gifts in wills.