Natalie Doyle

Death and the Elephant

Book review: Death and the Elephant

Nurse consultant Natalie Doyle reviews a life-affirming memoir

Marrow transplant

NHS at 70: how Bevan's announcement transformed the UK

On its anniversary, we should reflect on all that the health service has achieved

Lung cancer

A collaborative approach to delivering health and well-being events to people affected...

Health and well-being events form part of the recovery package for people living with and beyond cancer where they can access help and advice to support the transition from active treatment. Little evidence has been published about their implementation for people with lung cancer. Three London hospitals collaborated to deliver and evaluate lung cancer-specific health and well-being events during 2015. Uptake was low, but 55 people who had been treated for lung cancer and 33 ‘carers’, that is, friends or relatives, attended one of three events. The events involved a combination of taught sessions and informal access to healthcare professionals. Although more than half of attendees thought they had learned only some or no new information, 93% indicated they would recommend the event to others in a similar situation. Most attendees continued to report they felt more confident in managing all aspects of their health and well-being after 1 month. Written comments reflected that the emotional and psychological benefits of attending were greater than the information given. The healthcare professionals involved found it a rewarding experience and continue to develop future events.

Cancer survivor

Supporting delivery of the recovery package for people living with and beyond cancer

Survivorship is an important issue in cancer care in the UK. More people are being diagnosed with the disease and many more are living for longer after diagnosis. The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative recommends that patients with cancer have a package of care designed to improve outcomes and support for those living with and beyond the disease. The recovery package consists of a holistic needs assessment, treatment summary, cancer care review and health and wellbeing event. Although these interventions are recommended as a way to improve care, many people do not have access to the combined package, or even some of its components. The Cancer Nursing Partnership (CNP), a collaboration of cancer nursing organisations and communities of influence, has been established to support nurses with delivery of the recovery package in practice. This article describes the package and its components, introduces the CNP and outlines the work it has carried out to date.

Holistic needs assessment: Rationale and practical implementation

Many people are living with or beyond a cancer diagnosis in the UK. The vision of the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative is that they are supported to live as healthy and as active a life as possible for as long as possible. To realise this vision, a recovery package has been developed, a component of which is holistic needs assessment (HNA) and care planning. This article presents the background and rationale for HNA and offers some practical suggestions for implementation in the current health climate.