The Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance is committed to ensuring good quality holistic needs assessments and care plans are available to all cancer patients and will support Trusts to accurately report activity through COSD as required nationally

You can talk to your team about anything;

it doesn’t just need to be about your treatment

Why is this happening to me? Am I still able to be Active? Does my cancer put my children at risk of cancer? Am I suitable for clinical trials? Who will look after my elderly parents when I'm having treatment? Who can I speak to about relationship or sexual difficulties?

Holistic Needs Assessments

Patients are offered an assessment of their needs with a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or support worker. This is called a holistic needs assessment (HNA).

The assessment is called holistic because the patient can talk about any area of their life and how cancer affects them and their family and carers.

An HNA gives the patient a chance to talk about their needs and for their care team find out what really matters to them. The patient’s needs might be physical, practical, emotional or social. The HNA should help them think about and prioritise what matters to them, and what they need support with.

A patient should be offered an HNA soon after their diagnosis and at other important times, such as at the end of a period (phase) of treatment.

Personalised care and Support Plans (PCSP)

  • A Personalised Care and Support Plan (PCSP)is developed after the Holistic Needs Assessment to keep a record of conversations, decisions and agreed outcomes
  • A PCSP ensures people’s physical, practical, emotional and social needs are identified and addressed at the earliest opportunity.
  • A CNS/Support worker will not have all the answers to patients questions but can signpost to organisations that do. These should be detailed in the plan.
  • The plan should be reviewed over time

Here’s a video by Macmillan which explains the benefits of HNAs for both the patient and care team