Patients with lymphoedema can now use a new self-referral service launched by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

And the nursing team also aims to help people at risk of developing the condition, which causes chronic swelling, especially in the arms and legs.

Lymphoedema, caused by a build-up of fluid in the body’s tissues, can be controlled, but may require life-long treatment.

Pat Gardner, lead lymphoedema nurse practitioner at the trust, said: “Most people at risk of developing lymphoedema are those who have had treatment for cancer, although any surgery or trauma that damages lymphatic drainage can put a person at risk.

“We would like to inform people about their risk of developing lymphoedema so they can try to prevent it.”

Keighley woman Pat Ferguson, 60, was referred to the service by her consultant last October after having an operation for breast cancer and undergoing both chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

She is now having intensive manual lymphatic drainage and laser treatment. “This is my sixth session and the treatment is now working,” she said.

“It’s been a marvellous service and has made me feel so much better.”

Call 01535 292712 for details.