Identifying Needs

A Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) is a tool used to address all areas and helps to show if you need information or support, or a referral on to another agency.

Evidence has shown that effective individual Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) and care planning of people’s needs can contribute to better identification of their concerns and enable early intervention and diagnosis of side effects or consequences of treatment|. As such, everyone with cancer should be offered a HNA and a care plan as part of the Recovery Package|.

The HNA and care plan ensures that people’s physical, practical, emotional, spiritual and social needs are met in a timely and appropriate way, and that resources are targeted to those who need them most.

The information gathered from an HNA can also be shared with the multidisciplinary team (MDT) to improve a person’s management and care. The data collected can be used to influence service developments and the commissioning of future services.

Evidence suggests that having a HNA during and at the end of treatment (or if health or social needs change) helps to identify the issues that need to be discussed and can be used to inform a care plan which is developed in partnership with the person affected by cancer.

A care plan is ‘owned by’ and supports the cancer survivor after their treatment and should cover:

  • Any physical, practical concerns, emotional, spiritual, social or lifestyle concerns.
  • Signposting to either local or national support groups.
  • Information about local Health and Wellbeing Clinics, Education Events or self management courses as available in your area.
  • Referral to Allied Healthcare Professionals for support if required.
  • Advice related to lifestyle i.e. Stop smoking services.
  • Information or referral to an appropriate physical activity programme.
  • Information or referral for advice on diet and nutrition.
  • Referral for counselling or psychological support.
  • Support related to work and finance concerns.
  • Support for spiritual needs.