The SMTL have been referenced in a recent paper published in the British Journal of Nursing, 2017, Vol 26, No 13, by Melanie J Thomas and Karen Morgan ("The development of Lymphoedema Network Wales to improve care"). This article describes the establishment of Lymphoedema Network Wales (LNW) which was developed to improve lymphoedema patient care with a focus on service delivery centred on evidence-based practice.
Compression garments are the mainstay of lymphoedema treatment as they support and reduce swelling, and the project identified the requirement to establish a National Compression Garments Contract and Formulary to manage garment usage for primary and secondary care. The SMTL was a key stakeholder in this process, testing tendered products to ensure that only garments that produced specific graduated pressure profiles were purchased by NWSSP Procurement Services for the formulary. This project has ensured NHS Wales is using compression garments that provide the best clinical outcome for patients, and this work was recognised with LNW, NWSSP Procurement Services and SMTL being awarded a Patient Safety Award in 2016 for this development.
SMTL have been undertaking the testing of compression products for over 30 years, and are active participants in the current standardisation project with BSI which is revising these standards (SMTL hold the posts of Chair and Editor on this project).