As you come to the end of your treatment, you usually have a discussion with someone from your cancer team. Your discussion will usually be with your specialist doctor or nurse, or another health professional. They will talk to you about what to expect after treatment finishes. They will also ask you about any concerns or specific needs you have.
In some hospitals, this discussion is called a Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA). You answer a set of questions about all areas of your life, to see whether you have any concerns. You then have a discussion with a member of your healthcare team, to talk about the issues you have and think of possible solutions.
You may have a care plan created based on your HNA. A care plan explains how you will be supported now and in the future, and other services that may be useful. You should be given a copy that you can share with other members of your healthcare team. You can update your care plan whenever you need to.
Some hospitals create a document called a treatment summary. It usually includes:
- the treatment you have had
- what to expect after treatment
- any follow-up care or tests you need
- contact details of your cancer team.
You will be given a copy to keep and the hospital should send another copy to your GP.
Holistic Needs Assessments, care plans and treatment summaries are not standard practice in all hospitals. But more hospitals are doing them. It may happen in the ways we have described, or it could be done in a more informal way. You will always have the chance to talk to someone from your cancer team before your treatment ends. It is a good idea to prepare for this and think about what you would like to ask.
You may hear some health professionals talk about the Recovery Package. This is a term that combines all the options above. It also includes a Cancer Care Review (below) with your GP and information about any health and well-being events. It is aimed at improving your quality of life during and after treatment.