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National Cancer Survivorship Initiative

Assessment & Care Planning

A Macmillan Study of the Health and Well-being of Cancer Survivors (2008) identified that

  • 40% were unaware of the long-term side effects of the cancer and treatment
  • 78% had experienced physical health problems in the last 12 months
  • 40% with emotional problems had not sought help
  • and 71% of those who finished treatment 10 years ago had experienced physical health problems in the last 12 months.

Research has shown that cancer survivors often have ongoing needs following active treatment and need greater access to health care services (Armes et al 2009).  In a 12 month period 90% of cancer survivors visit their GP and 45% visit a specialist doctor compared to 68% and 15% of wider population.

Studies have also shown that the health and wellbeing profile of people with cancer is similar to those with other long term conditions including diabetes and arthritis, however in some cases where co- morbidities are present they report poorer health compared to other long term conditions.

Effective assessment and care planning of people’s needs can therefore contribute to better identification of concerns and needs, early interventions and diagnosis of consequences of treatment, improved communication and better equity of care. Assessment also provides a tool for audit of services provided and identification of needs for further service development.

The NCSI workstream for assessment and care planning identified four key areas where better assessment of needs, information and education would improve communication and co-ordination of care with the patient, primary and secondary care.

 The key areas that have been developed, tested and are now roll out ready are:

1. Holistic Needs Assessment

2. Treatment Summary

3. Cancer Care Review

4. Health and Wellbeing Clinics (education events)

 Testing of the Holistic Needs Assessment and care planning process took place during the summer of 2010 across 11 test sites and at 8 prototype sites in 2010 in collaboration with NHS Improvement.  The work was evaluated by Tribal (2011) and further testing by NHS Improvement followed in 2011 and 2012.  Ipsos MORI (2012) 

The Holistic Needs Assessment and care planning projects are sponsored by Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive, and the programme is managed by Jackie Rowe. [email protected]

Last updated on October 23, 2013

NCSI Assessment and Care Planning Poster