The Christie is taking a vital service out in to the community for the first time to help patients with an often painful chronic condition.

The world-famous cancer centre is joining forces with NHS partners and local charities to deliver satellite services for patients suffering from lymphoedema.

Lymphoedema is a condition that causes swelling in the body tissues and often affects the arms or legs.

It is caused by problems with the lymphatic system and can be associated with treatment for cancer.

The new clinics will bring treatment closer to the homes of patients who would otherwise have to travel to The Christie's main site in Withington, but it will also be available to non-Christie patients.

Clinics will operate for one day a week at Bolton Hospice and at the Beechwood cancer care centre in Stockport, and will offer lymphoedema assessments, physiotherapy for the condition and information on self-care and exercise.

Kathy Pantelides, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Manager at The Christie's rehabilitation unit, said plans were also in hand to launch a satellite service at Cornerstone family practice in Beswick.

"We're aiming to meet a need that's not currently being met," she said.

"The satellite clinics will bring treatment closer to people's homes and will guarantee a Christie standard of care. These partnerships are very important because they allow us to take treatment to patients and ease some of the pressure on services at The Christie.

"Lymphoedema can be a very disabling condition and it is also quite unsightly and can have a negative impact on people's daily lives, so this will be a very significant new service."

Kathy added that all the venues were offering rooms for free so the clinics could take place.

One patient who has benefitted from the option to receive treatment closer to home is 88-year-old Molly Whitehouse.

A family member takes her on the eight-mile 20-minute trip from her home in Whitefield to Bolton, which she much prefers to the 20-mile journey to south Manchester.

Molly, who received radiotherapy at The Christie after a diagnosis of breast cancer, said: "Even though you can use the motorway you still have to travel right across Manchester, and it's not always easy to park. You have to think about a family member taking time off work to take me in.

"It's a great service here and a lovely environment. When The Christie contacted me and told me I could come here I leapt at the chance."

While some people who have not had cancer can develop lymphoedema, the satellite service is available only to those with the cancer-related condition.

Jill Entwistle, Clinical Nurse Director at Bolton Hospice, said: "We're looking forward to working closely with The Christie to help patients suffering from lymphoedema. It's fantastic that we can now offer a local service that will help the people of Bolton who would otherwise have had to travel to The Christie's main site in Withington."