Aim and objective To assess feasibility, acceptability and benefits of using the Carers Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) in a Day Therapy Unit (DTU) in a hospice setting.
Background The CSNAT is an evidence-based copyright tool designed by Dr G. Ewing and Prof. G. Grande which was introduced to the social work team on a study day organised by Hospice UK. It is designed to assess carers’ needs in supporting a family member/friend at home towards the end-of-life. It uses a person-centred approach; providing carers with the opportunity to take control in considering, expressing and prioritising need - ultimately enabling the development of a shared action plan to support carers. It was identified that this tool dovetailed well with the current practice in undertaking an assessment in the DTU whilst giving the opportunity to undertake a more holistic assessment.
Method A six-month pilot commenced September 2015 in the DTU. A total of 36 carers were assessed using the CSNAT, adhering to the 14 support domains. There was representation of carers across Barking and Dagenham (B&D), Havering, Brentwood and Redbridge boroughs.
Results Overview of the findings showed 100% of B&D carers, 88% of Havering carers, 86% of Brentwood carers and 63% of Redbridge carers had needs. Concerns from carers were raised regarding illness progression, future symptoms and where to seek help if circumstances changed. Carers were able to prioritise need and demonstrate how they were managing them.
Conclusion This pilot study showed that the CSNAT is feasible and acceptable by carers with identified benefits, including carers knew they had been assessed; it promoted carers’ autonomy and choice and enabled the development of action plans to provide support and timely signposting.
Implication CSNAT is being used routinely in the DTU and consideration will be made to use it within the inpatient unit and community services.
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