People with cancer need good access to palliative care, but not everyone gets the same access to these services. This can leave some patients with unresolved problems which affect their quality of life

Many people with cancer experience a wide range of symptoms and problems across all areas of life. Studies suggest that these symptoms are common but are often not known about or managed by the doctors and nurses caring for them.

The Needs Assessment Tool-Cancer (NAT-C) has been developed for use by doctors or other clinicians in GP Surgeries to identify and address any concerning symptoms and unmet needs of cancer patients and their carers. We will test whether regular use of this tool improves patient care compared with how care is usually provided.

The previous CANAssess1 study showed us that carrying out this study would be possible, and Yorkshire Cancer Research agreed to fund it.

About the project

Funder: Yorkshire Cancer Research
Time frame: January 2020 – July 2024
Contact for more details: Professor Miriam Johnson, Dr Flavia Swan and Dr Joseph Clark

This study is aiming to recruit 850 from 41 GP Practices across Yorkshire and the North East of England. Recruitment ends on 31st August 2023.We are testing if routine use of the Needs Assessment Tool-Cancer (NAT-C) improves patients’ and their carers’ experience compared with usual care.

If the tool proves to be effective in reducing unresolved patient/carer problems, it will set a new standard of care across the whole of the UK, improving the experience of people with cancer and their families.

We are also conducting a short survey and interviews with GPs, practice managers and nurses who are using the NAT-C so we can understand what would help or hinder their use of the NAT-C in clinical practice. These findings will help us devise an implementation strategy for the NAT-C tool to ensure that the new standard of care can be delivered across the UK should trial results be positive.


Clark J, Amoakwa E, Wright-Hughes A, Blenkinsopp J, Currow DC, et al. (2021) A cluster randomised trial of a Needs Assessment Tool for adult Cancer patients and their carers (NAT-C) in primary care: A feasibility study. PLOS ONE 16(1): e0245647.