Providing personalised care and support
The NHS Long Term Plan states that everyone in the NHS involved with cancer care is working to ensure that:
'People will get more control over their own health and more personalised care when they need it… the NHS also needs a more fundamental shift in how we work alongside patients and individuals to deliver more person-centred care.'
Delivery of improvements for people living with and beyond cancer consists of three interdependent priority areas:
Priority 1: Providing personalised care interventions by ensuring clinicians and patients actively use:
- Personalised care and support planning based on Holistic Needs Assessments (HNAs) so that individual needs and concerns can be identified and addressed at the earliest opportunity.
- Treatment summaries that provide both the patient and their GP with valuable information and prompts for action, so that health and wellbeing can be optimised, including how to seek help if new symptoms arise.
- Primary care cancer care reviews that are holistic and arranged at specific time points that meet the patient’s needs, so that cancer and its consequences are increasingly managed as a long-term condition.
Priority 2: Providing patient centred follow-up (PCFU) care via the following two pathways:
- Clinician led follow-up – this is for complex patients and those at higher risk of recurrence and can take the form of scheduled face-to-face or virtual appointments.
- Supported self-managed pathway with digital remote monitoring for less complex patients. This pathway ensures that patients will not have to travel back to hospital simply to be given scan/test results that show no cause for concern.
Priority 3: Measuring people’s quality of life by understanding the impact of cancer and how well people are living after their diagnosis:
- This important work also includes improving the provision of services to manage the consequences of treatment, which cause poor quality of life and are often under recognised. These can often include psychological difficulties, fatigue, pain, bowel, bladder and sexual problems.
The East of England Cancer Alliances continue to support local health and care systems to develop personalised care packages for all patients living with and beyond cancer. This will include identifying accessible support services and information provision across the local area, so that every patient knows what is available to help them reach their goals after treatment.