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Social Prescribing for Cancer Patients

7 May 2021

Macmillan have published a new guide on the importance of social prescribing for people with a diagnosis of cancer. Although this guide is targeted primarily at Primary Care Networks it also describes a broad range of case studies and ties social prescribing to holistic needs assessment and the personalised care agenda.

The report acknowledges that Social Prescribing is an essential element in the delivery of integrated personalised care for people living with cancer, which is increasingly being seen and treated as a long-term condition for a growing number of people. There is also an understanding that 70% of people living with cancer have other long-term conditions, a statistic which highlights the need for effective support in primary and community care. People living with cancer experience a wide range of unmet needs, many of which may not require support from clinical staff. These unmet needs may include

·        Loneliness and isolation 

·        Psychological needs of varying complexity

·        Financial impacts of cancer

·        Difficulties in returning to work after a cancer diagnosis

·        A need for advice and support regarding physical activity

The guide also stresses the importance of cancer Care reviews and gives information on how to carry out an effective Cancer Care Review and suggests resources to help with this.

The guide also provides a list of valuable resources and how to access these which will be particularly useful for nurses and other health care professionals working in primary care or looking to build a structure to improve social prescribing for people living with a cancer diagnosis and those who care for them. 

The guide can be accessed here