Multiple Swindon charities and services meet to enhance personalised care for cancer patients

By Jessica Durston - 2 March 2023

  • An image taken at the event. (L-R) Michelle Taylor, Lauren McClelland, and Julie Cracknell

    An image taken at the event. (L-R) Michelle Taylor, Lauren McClelland, and Julie Cracknell

GPs, Practice Nurses, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Cancer Care Facilitators, local hospices, charities, and local borough council support services have come together to discuss personalised care.

Holistic Needs Assessments (HNAs) have been given the spotlight at an event by The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The event saw healthcare professionals, local hospices, charities, and local borough council support services (including social prescribers) meet at the knowledge-sharing event. The gathering was funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and a cancer patient was also present. 

The evening was a joint venture, organised by Macmillan Personalised care teams that work across primary and secondary settings.

Michelle Taylor, Macmillan Personalised Care Team Lead said: “The programme focused on various topics surrounding delivery of Holistic Needs Assessments (HNAs) and Cancer care reviews (CCRs), which are offered to patients with a cancer diagnosis.

"HNA is a simple questionnaire followed by a discussion with a nurse or health care professional about any physical, psychological spiritual and social needs a cancer patient might have, with the focus being on what is important to the patient. A CCR is a conversation between a patients GP or Practice nurse and both an HNA and CCR then leads to a care plan being generated to document concerns and offering suggestions and actions to help manage these concerns as well as signposting to other services as needed.” 

Turnout of the event was said to have been excellent with 44 professionals in attendance. A spokesperson said: "A mixture of input was offered with no overall domination of one service."

Discussions focused on different topics of importance to people with cancer including supporting them to live better with the diagnosis, the importance of HNAs in the recovery process, the role of community support services and pressures/barriers to completing HNAs.

Feedback from attendees was said to have been very positive with individuals saying they gained better insight into each other’s provisions.

The cancer patient who attended spoke about her personal journey, including her positive experience with HNA's & CCR's. This enabled a ‘joined up’ approach to her care from both primary and secondary settings. The patient said the end result left her feeling like everyone knew what was happening with her care and treatment. 

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