A real Scottish welcome to International Lymphoedema Framework Conference delegates in Glasgow!

Published: 2 December 2014

The Principal, Professor Anton Muscatelli welcomed over 360 delegates and speakers from 29 countries to the 5th International Lymphoedema Framework (ILF) Conference in the University of Glasgow, preceded by a traditional piper, who also ‘piped in’ delegates to the Civic Reception, hosted by the City of Glasgow.

ILF conferenceThe conference had a very full programme of presentations, workshops, symposia and concurrent abstract sessions from a great selection of international speakers addressing the theme of ‘Reduced Incidence, prevalence and Impact: Making these realistic goals’.  

Dr Frances Elliott, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, gave a keynote address on the Scottish Government (SG) response to long term conditions and lymphoedema in particular, based on the recommendations of the recent SG report ‘Lymphoedema in Scotland: Achieving Equity and Quality’. She was particularly interested in the LIMPRINT tools developed by the ILF to facilitate much needed prevalence studies for lymphoedema and was certainly impressed by the launch of the book “Impressed by You” which illustrates visually and in text the experience of a wide range of people with lymphoedema.

An integrated patient conference with a theme of ‘Patients, Partnerships and Technology’, reflected the focus on self-management and how technology may be embraced to support patients, practitioners and educators. A need to adopt different strategies and attitudes to maximise the ability of individuals to confidently self-manage their lymphoedema and make the most of technology to inform professionals and the public about lymphoedema was clear. There was great interest from delegates and patients in the web-based physiotherapy programmes developed in the Nursing & Health Care School and presented by Dr Elaine Coulter. We are following up several opportunities for international collaboration on this.

It was a great opportunity to share ideas and experiences with people from such a range of backgrounds, including those from developing countries, who seem to do so much with so few resources and also to hear about some really innovative work that is going on across the world.  Previous conferences have been held in exciting venues such as Montpellier and Toronto but we many delegates reported that Glasgow had been the best experience yet!

On the social side, the dinner, ceilidh and “Mini Highland Games” was enjoyed by well over 200 guests. One of the patient delegates, who was selected to carry the Queen's Baton for the Commonwealth Games, demonstrated her outfit, but the delegates from Holland stole the show by entering into the spirit of the event and donning bright orange tartan (all 20+ of them!).

It was really exciting to host the event and a great showcase for the University and its work on lymphoedema. On behalf of the organizing team and the ILF I thank the University staff for their support, the student ambassadors who did a fantastic job and a special thank you to the Stevenson Recreation Facility for allowing access and assisting with the activity and Aqua Lymphatic Therapy Workshops. For more information about the ILF please see www.lympho.org.

First published: 2 December 2014