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<pre>
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

Lymphoedema Compression 
Garment Subsidy Scheme 

Policy Guideline 
 

 
  



 
 

INFORMAL COPY WHEN PRINTED Lymphoedema Compression Garment Subsidy Scheme Policy Guideline Page 2 of 9 

 
 

Contents  
 
1. Policy Statement .................................................................................................................. 3 

2. Roles and Responsibilities ................................................................................................... 3 

3. Policy Requirements ............................................................................................................ 4 

3.1 CGSS Scope ............................................................................................................ 4 

3.2 Eligibility to receive compression garments via the South Australian CGSS ........... 5 

3.3 Compression Garment Prescribers .......................................................................... 5 

3.4 Compression Garment Prescriptions ....................................................................... 7 

3.5 Ordering and Supply of Compression Garments ..................................................... 7 

3.6 Fit, Education and Review ........................................................................................ 7 

3.7 Reporting .................................................................................................................. 8 

4. Implementation and Monitoring............................................................................................ 8 

5. National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards ....................................................... 9 

6. Definitions ............................................................................................................................ 9 

7. Associated Policy Directives / Policy Guidelines &amp; Resources ........................................... 9 

8. Document Ownership &amp; History ........................................................................................... 9 

  



 
 

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Lymphoedema Compression Garment Subsidy 
Scheme Policy Guideline 

 

1. Policy Statement 
 
The wearing of compression garments is a component of therapy used to support people 
with lymphoedema in the management of their condition.  Garments can reduce the 
development of associated complications, improving health outcomes, decreasing 
preventable admissions to acute services and reducing demand and costs to the health 
system.  
 
The Australasian Lymphology Association (ALA) continues to endorse the use of 
compression garments as an essential treatment modality for the management of 
lymphoedema.  
 
The purpose of the South Australian Compression Garment Subsidy Scheme (CGSS) is 
to provide South Australians living with lymphoedema, with access to subsidised 
compression garments.  
 
This Guideline is specific to the administration and functioning of the Scheme for the 
provision of garments.  
 

2. Roles and Responsibilities 
 
Wellbeing SA is responsible for: 

? Establishment of the scheme; 

? Facilitating implementation of the scheme; 

? Developing the Review and Continuous Improvement Framework. 
 
Allied and Scientific Health Office, Department for Health and Wellbeing is 
responsible for: 

? Providing clinical oversight of prescriber eligibility and training, including 
support for credentialing and professional development activities; 

? Providing support for staff to undertake training and professional 
development as appropriate; 

? Evaluating prescriber eligibility training; 

? Evaluating endorsement and credentialing. 
 
NGO Performance Management, Department for Health and Wellbeing is responsible 
for: 

? Establishing the process for order and supply of compression garments 
with the assistance of Procurement Supply Chain Management (PSCM); 

? Ensuring scheme applications meet the requirement of eligible clients 
access two sets of garments (2 garments per body part, every six months);   

? Ensuring that both the Private Prescribers and Suppliers under the Panel 
Agreement comply with all the required terms and conditions including, 
training, accreditation etc. 

? Establishing a contract management framework which includes the 
following: 

o Managing contract risks; 
o Working collaboratively with the private prescribers  and suppliers; 



 
 

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o Ensuring good communication with all key stakeholders, including 
the Local Health Networks (LHNs), private prescribers, consumers, 
suppliers and any other relevant stakeholders identified; 

o Managing the budget and payments in line with the contract; 
o Establishing a system for collecting relevant data e.g. financial, 

quality, safety aspects, including data and reporting according to 
the Commonwealth Project Agreement under Clause 3.5   
Administration and Authorisation;  

o Reviewing performance data and monitoring performance 
measures and sharing with key stakeholders; 

o Managing disputes and non-performance. 
 
Public and private compression garment prescribers are responsible for: 

? Complying with the Guideline; 

? Prescribing compression garments for clinically appropriate, eligible clients. 
 

Local Health Networks are responsible for:  

? Providing support for LHN staff to undertake training and professional 
development as appropriate; 

? Relevant notation of LHN employees eligible to prescribe garments such 
as through the usual credentialing processes with notation under Scope of 
Practice in the Credentialing and Scope of Clinical Practice System 
(CSCPS) that the employee is a  Lymphoedema Garment Prescriber ; 

? Ensuring employees prescribing garments have relevant knowledge, skills 
and recency of practice; 

? Developing and maintaining data collection and/or data verification 
mechanisms; 

? Working with the NGO Performance Management team to prepare 
quarterly reports detailing usage of the scheme/provision of garments; 

? Providing data required for Commonwealth reports as needed. 
 

3. Policy Requirements 

3.1 CGSS Scope 

Best practice management for lymphoedema includes a holistic multidisciplinary 
approach and includes treatment provided by a clinician in lymphoedema 
management or supervised by another clinician experienced in lymphoedema 
management. Lymphoedema treatment is individualised for each client and may 
include a range of treatment options for example, education, skin care, exercise, 
manual lymphatic drainage and/or compression therapy. 
 
Therapy options should be determined by an experienced clinician as part of a 
comprehensive management plan. It is expected that the multidisciplinary team, 
responsible for client management, communicate in a way that enhances the 
client s experience and clinical outcomes.  

 
The South Australian CGSS provides for 100% subsidy for eligible clients, 
accessing two sets of garments (2 garments per body part), every six months. 
 
An approved prescriber can determine garment style and whether a pre-sized 
(ready to wear) garment or a custom-made garment is required. 
 
Implementation of the scheme is not intended to change existing pathways or 
clinical relationships and where possible, clients should continue to seek services 



 
 

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available via existing clinical relationships, in the LHN closest to their residency or 
via a private provider. 

 
The scope of the South Australian CGSS may evolve as the scheme matures. This 
Guideline will be updated accordingly.  

3.2 Eligibility to receive compression garments via the South Australian CGSS 

Clients eligible to receive compression garments as part of the CGSS will meet all of 
the following criteria: 

? primary or secondary lymphoedema diagnosed by a Medical Practitioner  

? have not received a set of garments for a body part under the scheme in the 
past 6 months 

? not admitted as an inpatient at a hospital 

? resident of South Australia  

? Medicare eligible 

? not eligible for garments though other sources/programs ie. National 
Disability Insurance Scheme, DVA Gold Card, work cover, private health 
insurance* (or as assessed and determined on a case by case basis 
according to the level of cover provided) 

 
*Where Private Health Insurance does not include cover for compression 
garments, the client will be eligible for the CGSS if all other eligibility criteria 
are met.  
For a person with partial Private Health Insurance coverage for compression 
garments a claim for consideration under the scheme can be made; the 
approved prescriber should include details of the circumstance with the 
prescription form to enable a case by case assessment to be undertaken. 

 
The CGSS excludes the following: 

? People with Lipoedema, Lipodermatosclerosis, chronic venous insufficiency 
or post thrombotic syndrome 

? Prophylactic compression garments including flight sleeves  

? Structural therapy garments/hernia supports 

? Short term use (acute treatment ie. burns/Split Skin Grafts) 

? Anti-embolic stockings 

? Doff/Donning aids 

? Electrical air compression pumps 

? Inelastic or elastic lymphoedema bandages 

? Adjustable compression devices ie. farrow wraps 

3.3 Compression Garment Prescribers 

This Guideline sets the minimum requirement for a clinician to be able to prescribe 
compression garments under the South Australian CGSS. 
 
The Guideline does not set requirements for the clinical treatment and management 
of lymphoedema. Clinicians providing lymphoedema therapy and treatment are 
required to act within their professional scope of practice and undertake the 
professional development and training necessary to deliver their clinical role. 

 
Clinicians eligible to prescribe compression garments include: 
 
 
 
 



 
 

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Private Prescribers 
A private Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Podiatrist or Registered Nurse 
who holds a minimum Lymphoedema Training Certificate, from an ALA accredited 
training provider and is registered on the National Lymphoedema Practitioner 
Register (NLPR). 
 
To support implementation of the Scheme, private clinicians who are not registered 
on the NLPR will be considered for approval up to 30 June 2022, if they have a 
minimum Lymphoedema Training Certificate from an ALA accredited training 
provider and: 

? are actively working towards NLPR registration; and 

? are an experienced lymphoedema clinician with existing responsibility and 
expertise in garment measurement, prescription and fitting; and 

? have evidence of the management of a minimum of 6 lymphoedema clients 
in the prior 12 months. 

 
From 1 July 2022, all clinicians applying for approval status will be required to be 
registered on the NLPR and will need to provide evidence of their registration.  
 
Private clinicians seeking to become an approved prescriber will be required to 
complete an application form (available on the SA Health website) and provide 
necessary evidence to support their application. 

 
Public Practitioners  
A public Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Podiatrist or Registered Nurse 
who is employed by SA Health and meets all criteria under one of the following 
categories: 
 

a) Experienced Clinician (pre-scheme equivalency) 

? Employed in SA Health prior to roll out of CGSS, in a role with clinical 
responsibilities in a lymphoedema specific clinical service; and 

? Has support from Line or Profession Manager confirming that the employee 
is an experienced lymphoedema clinician with existing responsibility and 
expertise in garment measurement, prescription and fitting; and  

? Has evidence of management of a minimum of 6 lymphoedema clients in the 
prior 12 months. 

 
b) Trained Clinician  

? Has successfully completed an SA Health approved training program 
covering lymphoedema-related anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and 
treatments focusing on compression, garment measurement and selection; 
or 

? Has successfully completed a minimum Lymphoedema Training Certificate 
from an ALA accredited training; and  

? Has evidence of management of a minimum of 6 lymphoedema clients in the 
prior 12 months. 

 
Other SA Health clinicians that do not meet all of the above criteria may prescribe 
compression garments under the supervision of an approved prescriber for 
example, an Allied Health Assistant prescribing under the supervision of an 
approved SA Health Physiotherapist. The supervisor will be required to co-sign the 
prescription form. 
 



 
 

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SA Health employees approved to prescribe garments under the CGSS will seek 
scope of practice notation  Lymphoedema Garment Prescriber  through the usual 
credentialing processes relevant to their LHN. LHNs are responsible for ensuring 
recency of practice is maintained for approved prescribers. 

3.4 Compression Garment Prescriptions 

A clinical prescription is a written description of specific parameters of compression 
garment style, class, fit and fabric size for the purpose of sourcing through a 
supplier/vendor. The South Australian Lymphoedema CGSS prescription form may 
be used by approved prescribers only.  

3.5 Ordering and Supply of Compression Garments 

The scheme will have a staged implementation. Over the coming months a garment 
supplier panel will be established and administration process will be updated. Until 
the panel is in place the process for ordering will be as follows: 

 
Approved Prescribers   Private: 
Will first ensure they are an approved prescriber and their client is eligible under the 
scheme as detailed in this Guideline. 
 
Approved prescribers will have access to a prescription form which they will 
complete and send to HealthContractNotices@sa.gov.au for approval. Once 
approval notification is received, the approved prescriber can progress with ordering 
a compression garment through existing ordering arrangements. 
 
SA Health will notify the compression garment supplier and the supplier will invoice 
SA Health directly. 
 
SA Health Approved Prescribers: 
Will first ensure they are an approved prescriber and their client is eligible under the 
scheme as detailed in this Guideline. 
 
Approved prescribers will complete a prescription form and have it authorised by a 
nominated authority located within their LHN. Ordering of garments can then 
proceed via existing ordering processes. 
 
Prescriptions will be collated and submitted to HealthContractNotices@sa.gov.au 
with regular reporting (see section 3.8 below). 

 
There are a number of factors which may influence choice of supplier including 
ability to: 

? meet the clinical need of the client; 

? provide a cost effective solution, ability; 

? provide a garment in a timely manner. 
 

Client and prescriber preference will not be the primary factor in determining the 
most appropriate supplier. 

3.6 Fit, Education and Review 

Ready-to-wear garments should be considered where fit, compression and wear 
match the individual s needs. In circumstances that a ready to wear garment is not 
able to provide the desired intervention goal, a custom-made garment can be 
prescribed. 






 
 

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For any new client, only one garment will be ordered in the first instance. When 
fitted and clinically assessed as suitable, a second garment may be ordered. 
 
To ensure ongoing care and management, clients should return to a prescribing 
clinician to fit the garment, provide education and organise a review. Six monthly 
reviews are recommended however this may be extended to 12 months where the 
lymphoedema is relatively stable and the client reports no issues.  

3.7 Reporting 

SA Health, though the NGO Performance Management team, will take the lead in 
preparing quarterly reporting with the assistance of the LHNs. Reporting will include: 

? Number of individuals have accessed the scheme in any given reporting 
period; 

? Number of garments have been provided under the scheme (broken down to 
number of custom-made and number of ready-made garments provided); 

? The total cost of the scheme (garments provided under the scheme, and 
administration of the scheme); 

? The types of medical conditions requiring individuals to access the scheme. 
 

The NGO Performance Management team will collate this data through Oracle or 
other relevant data collection sources. LHNs may be asked to verify data to ensure 
accuracy and correlation with local records. 
 
Data requirements and frequency may change over time according to need as the 
scheme matures. 

 

4. Implementation and Monitoring 

LHNs will lead implementation of the South Australian CGSS in a phased approach which 
will include: 
 

? Phase One: Roll out of the scheme across: 
o Central Adelaide Local Health Network 
o Northern Adelaide Local Health Network 
o Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network 
o Limestone Coast Local Health Network 
o All private providers 

 

? Phase Two: Roll out of the scheme across: 
o Southern Adelaide Local Health Network 
o Women s and Children s Local Health Network 
o Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network 
o Yorke and Northern Local Health Network 
o River Mallee Coorong Local Health Network 
o Eyre and Far North Local Health Network 

 

A Review and Continuous Improvement Framework will be developed to monitor the 
scheme. 

Prescribers under the Scheme are responsible for ensuring they keep appropriate records 
of compliance with this Guideline as they may be requested to provide evidence as part of 
the Review and Continuous Improvement Framework.  
 
 
 



 
 

INFORMAL COPY WHEN PRINTED Lymphoedema Compression Garment Subsidy Scheme Policy Guideline Page 9 of 9 

 
 

 

5. National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards  

  

 

6. Definitions  

Compression Garment means: a broad description of a garment that has been 
manufactured for the specific purpose of minimising lymphatic fluid accumulation and 
aiding drainage from areas of lymphatic congestion 
 
Lymphoedema means: the accumulation of excessive amounts of protein-rich fluid 
resulting in swelling of one or more regions of the body. 
 

7. Associated Policy Directives / Policy Guidelines &amp; Resources 
 
Frequently Asked Questions for Clients 
Frequently Asked Questions for Prescribers 
 

8. Document Ownership &amp; History 
 

Approval 
Date 

Version 
Who approved New/Revised 
Version 

Reason for Change 

14/07/2020  V1.0 
  

03/09/2020 V1.1 Wellbeing SA 

Updated to provide greater clarity on 
aspects related to inclusions 
/exclusions, prescriber eligibility, and 
updated resources in line with advice 
from Advisory Group and Working 
Group plus general editorial 
improvements. 

 

 
 

National Standard 
1 
 

Clinical 
Governance 

 
 

National 
Standard 2 

 
Partnering 

with 
Consumers 

 
 
 

 
 

National 
Standard 3 

 
Preventing &amp; 
Controlling 
Healthcare- 
Associated 
Infection 

 
 

National 
Standard 4 

 
Medication 

Safety 
 
 
 
 

 
 

National 
Standard 5 

 
Comprehensiv

e Care 
 
 

 
 

National 
Standard 6  

 
Communica

ting for 
Safety 

 
 
 

 

 
 

National 
Standard 7 

 
Blood 

Management 

 
 

National 
Standard 8 

 
Recognising &amp; 
Responding to 

Acute 
Deterioration 

 
 

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 

Document developed by:  Integrated Care Systems Directorate 

File / Objective No.: 2019-14457 

Next review due:   12/12/2022 

Policy history: Is this a new Policy Guideline (V1)?  Y 

 Does this  Policy Guideline amend or update an existing  Policy 

Guideline version N 

 If so, which version? N/A 

 Does this policy replace another Policy Guideline with a different 

title?  N 

 If so, which Policy Guideline (title)? N/A 
 
 


















































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