15th September 2023

Pain impacts a patient’s quality of life which ripples onto families and friends and yet the causes are often overlooked. As a nurse, I am supporting the World Health Organization to promote elevating the voice of patients

The Case

I assessed a patient, Fred (not his real name), who could hardly walk, he had severe cellulitis (a skin infection) in his legs and in one leg this was spreading to his knee. They were red, hot and very painful. Cellulitis was having a detrimental effect at home and work.

Something which is easily treatable was missed each time he visited his GP. The last option his GP thought of was a referral to our Lymphoedema Service????

The Action

I provided advice and written information to Fred about his condition. We found securing appropriate treatment from his GP difficult. However together we persisted. We raised his GP’s awareness regarding diagnosing cellulitis and its management. Eventually Fred received the right treatment.

Had we not been insistent, Fred could have been admitted to hospital for either intravenous antibiotics or sepsis.

I am happy to say Fred made a full recovery after a few weeks of antibiotics and the great news is he does not have lymphoedema!

Knowledge is power

If you are not getting the help you need from your health provider keep looking for one who will listen and act on your behalf, we are out there.

Advice and information on cellulitis in lymphoedema (PDF) 


Oedema and lymphoedema

BLS – Lymphoedema (Web page)


I encourage patients and the people around them to become engaged, and play an active role in getting heard.

For more advice and information on how this can be done visit the World Safety Day patient page.

Who will you be helping?