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.
A treatment summary will be in the form of a clinic letter to the GP (copied to the patient) and generated by a clinician, clinical nurse specialist or allied health professional after each phase of treatment. It will provide information about treatments received, the possible late effects, alert symptoms to act upon and details about who to contact.
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 telephone the team at the Cancer Information Centre on (01604) 544211.
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.