Macmillan worked with people with cancer, carers, cancer clinicians and social care professionals to develop new models of care and support that place the needs of the person with cancer at the centre. Based on this work we developed the Recovery Package.
Macmillan wants everyone with cancer to receive its Recovery Package. Made up of four key elements, it aims to make sure everyone with cancer gets all the support they need for as long as they need it. The four key interventions of the Recovery Package are:
A Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) and care plan. The HNA is used by health and social care staff to talk to someone with cancer to find out about their emotional, practical and financial needs. The care plan sets out how the person will get the support they need. Macmillan want people to be offered an HNA at key times, for example at diagnosis and end of treatment. Both health and social care services have a role to play in making sure people are offered the assessment and that it’s followed by coordinated care.
Cancer care review. This is a discussion between the person with cancer and their GP or practice nurse that takes place within six months of a cancer diagnosis. It’s a chance for the person with cancer to talk about the kind of support they need.
Treatment summary. This is a summary of the illness, treatment and side effects. It also outlines signs of recurrence to look out for. It should be given to the person with cancer and their GP and shared with other health and social care services as required. The aim of it is to make sure everyone involved in supporting the person with cancer, and the person themselves, has the information they need.
Health and Wellbeing events. These are events in local areas where health and social care services and charities come together in one place so people with cancer can find all the support they need in one place.
Personalised medical aftercare
Macmillan’s work with people with cancer, carers and clinicians, has led to the development of a new approach to hospital follow-up care for those who have finished cancer treatment.
Our new personalised approach means people get rapid access to their cancer teams whenever they need to see them, for example if they’re concerned about the cancer returning.
They are also offered all the other kinds of support they might need, from benefits and housing advice to counselling and help with mobility problems.
This is a move away from the traditional one-size fits all system. Under this system, often the only formal support someone finishing treatment would receive was a yearly appointment with a cancer consultant. This was normally at a pre-set time chosen by the hospital and wasn’t based on an assessment of what the person with cancer needed or wanted.
The new approach is about treating people who’ve had cancer as individuals and giving them the care and support they need and want.
This model is now being used across the UK, including in Scotland, and evidence is mounting that it’s better for people with cancer and helps the NHS focus on people with complex needs.
The Scottish Government and the three cancer networks support this new model of aftercare and have tasked every health board in Scotland with rolling it out.