The Macmillan cancer recovery package team is working across Northamptonshire to introduce personalised follow up care and the elements of the cancer recovery package to people living with cancer. The cancer recovery package is recognised in the NHS Five Year Forward View and the Cancer Taskforce Strategy.
The recovery package consists of four elements:
- Holistic needs assessments;
- Treatment summaries;
- Health and wellbeing support;
- Cancer care reviews.
The elements form part of an overall support and self-management package for people affected by cancer – physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, managing consequences of treatment, including in relation to finances and returning to work.
Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) and Care Plan
Completion of a HNA is an opportunity for the person living with cancer to identify any physical, emotional and needs. The assessment is in the form of a questionnaire and allows people to highlight the most important issues to them at the time. If a care plan is needed as a result to address concerns raised this will be done jointly between the person living with cancer and their nurse or keyworker to identify how support can be accessed.
For people receiving cancer treatment at Kettering or Northampton General Hospitals a treatment summary will be completed by their surgeon or oncologist after each episode of treatment.
A treatment summary is in the form of a clinic letter to the GP (copied to the patient) and is generated by a clinician, clinical nurse specialist or allied health professional. It will provide information about the treatments received, the possible late effects, alert symptoms to act upon and details about who to contact.
The aim of the treatment summary is to support people in managing their health in the future. It can improve understanding about both the treatment received and any late effects which may help to alleviate concerns. It can also be used as a prompt to help people act upon any concerns they may have. GPs will refer to the information in a treatment summary when they see patients for a cancer care review.
Patients can use their treatment summary to self-refer to the Cancer Exercise Referral Programme with Northamptonshire Sport. Visit - www.northamptonshiresport.org/activity-on-referral-aor for more information.
Cancer Care Review
A cancer care review will usually take place within six months of diagnosis between the person living with cancer and their GP or practice nurse. It will be a discussion about experiences so far and sign-posting to further information and support if that is needed.
Health and Wellbeing Support
Education about health and wellbeing is crucial in helping people living with cancer to feel well supported throughout the pathway. The Northamptonshire Wellbeing Programme provides a number of options for people to access information and support through face-to-face events as well as online.
While face-to-face options are not currently available in light of the coronavirus pandemic, you can still access information online (see below), speak to your Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or contact the teams at the Cancer Information Centres at Northampton on (01604) 544211; or at Kettering by e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Northants Cancer Guide: Provides information and support on a range of topics from help with practical needs through to emotional concerns, with links to organisations that may be able to offer help. There is also a Cancer Pathway Map setting out further information about how your treatment may progress and gives definitions to some of the medical terminology you may encounter.
Health and Wellbeing Support: Videos and presentations are available to help you with a range of issues. This website is being added to regularly as we increase the number of topics covered. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible.
You can find out more about the recovery package on the Macmillan website.