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Personalised cancer care

Personalised cancer care allows you to take an active role in the way your care is planned and delivered by identifying your individual concerns and support needs. It puts you in control of your care, with help from your specialist cancer team.

There are lots of things you can do to look after your own health during and after cancer treatment. Some of this can be done without the involvement of your clinical team, such as physical activity and healthy eating.

There are four key elements of personalised care for cancer patients (this was previously known as the recovery package):

  1. Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA)
  2. health and wellbeing information and support
  3. treatment summary
  4. cancer care review

Please read our booklet Your guide to personalised cancer care for more information.

Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA)

An HNA gives you a chance to think about any concerns you may have and discuss possible solutions. The concerns could be:

  • physical
  • emotional
  • practical
  • financial
  • spiritual

By talking through your concerns, your healthcare professional can create a care plan to address your care and support needs.

Why have an HNA?

We want to make sure that all patients diagnosed with cancer at King’s are offered an HNA. We will support you to make decisions about your treatment and ensure you live as well as possible following a cancer diagnosis.

An HNA can help us make sure you get information and support for any symptoms or concerns you have regarding your cancer diagnosis. We can also use it to refer or signpost you on to other services that would help you.

What happens at an HNA?

We will ask you some simple questions about all areas of your life to find out any concerns you may have. We will then ask you to rate your concerns, which will help to us find out what needs to be dealt with first.

You can complete the form electronically (for example, on a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer) or on paper.

If you are completing the form electronically, please visit the My Care Plan website. Your healthcare professional will give you a pass code to enter when you log on. They will be alerted once you have completed the form and will arrange a follow-up appointment with you to talk about dealing with your concerns. This may be face to face in clinic or over the telephone.

When does the assessment happen?

You may be offered an HNA around the time of diagnosis, during or after treatment. You can also request an HNA at any time that you feel you have new concerns or whenever you feel it may help. If you have not been offered an HNA, please ask your clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or team about this.

Who will do the HNA with me?

Any healthcare professional can help you to complete the HNA, but it will usually be your CNS that helps to create a care plan with you. Depending on the type of cancer you have and where your follow up is, the HNA may be completed by a CNS at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, rather than a CNS at King’s College Hospital.

Health and wellbeing

Our health and wellbeing information can help you, your family and friends get the support needed during and after cancer treatment. The information and support we provide will help you manage side effects you may have and enable you to live your life as normally and actively as possible.

We have information on specific topics that may be relevant to your concerns or symptoms. These include:

The Macmillan Information and Support Centre provides a welcoming and confidential drop-in service for anyone affected by cancer. Services include signposting to benefits advisors, local charities and community support, as well as a wig fitting service, and scarf tying workshops.

The Macmillan website has more information on:

Treatment summary

At the end of your treatment, your doctor or CNS will complete a summary about the treatment you have had. It should also outline the potential side effects, consequences of treatment, and signs and symptoms of recurrence (cancer coming back). This is sent to you and your GP, so you both have a record of your care.

If you have not been offered a treatment summary, please ask your CNS or team.

Cancer care review

This is carried out at your GP practice, either by your GP or practice nurse, six months after your cancer diagnosis and treatment. Your GP should contact you to arrange a review. This is to talk about any concerns you may have and check whether you need any more information and support. It is also a chance for you to discuss your cancer experience and help you to self-manage any consequences of cancer or treatment with support.

For more information on personalised cancer care, please visit the Macmillan Cancer Support website.

Follow-up appointments

After your treatment, you might be offered a new type of follow-up care. This is called personalised follow-up (PFU).

Read more about personalised follow-up.


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