Family carers are crucial in enabling patients to remain at home towards the end of life. However, most are unprepared for this role, and will need some support to enable them to support the patient and also look after their own needs.
The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) is an evidence-based tool designed for carers supporting a family member or friend at home towards the end of life.
The CSNAT was developed by Dr Gail Ewing, a senior researcher at the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge, in partnership with Professor Gunn Grande at the University of Manchester. Both have long experience of palliative and end of life care research, particularly with carers.
The tool has been designed to be short and simple to use for both carers and practitioners and comprises 14 broad support domains in which carers commonly say they require support.
The CSNAT differs from other carer assessment tools in that the process is facilitated by the practitioner, but led by the carer. This person-centred approach ensures that the response to the support needs identified by the carer is tailored to their individual needs.
The CSNAT uses a simple question and answer format to ask carers which areas they need more support with. The ‘visibility’ of common areas of support provided by the tool has been found to be helpful for carers. Then they can indicate whether or not they need more support in relation to each domain.
The CSNAT is copyright but available free of charge for use by practitioners supporting carers. The team behind its development also provide training and support for services wishing to implement the CSNAT.
Hospice UK is supporting wider implementation of the CSNAT in palliative care practice by funding a series of training workshops. These are being held on:
- Monday 18 May 2015 at The University of Manchester
- Friday 29 May 2015 at Ayr Hospice in Scotland (now fully booked)
- Friday 5 June 2015 at Hospice UK, London.
Workshops begin at 10am to allow travel to the venue and end by 4pm (refreshments included).
Workshops are free to attend and all resources are provided at no cost to services.The full training package includes:
- reading materials for preparation ahead of the workshop
- attendance at a one day workshop for 2-3 members of staff per organisation (who will act as CSNAT ‘champions’)
- a training ‘toolkit’ for each site (with complementary Powerpoint presentation)
- templates for the CSNAT which can be customised with details about the organisation, including its logo
- ongoing support for champions via three teleconference calls, hosted by the CSNAT team. These support sessions will bring together champions from a number of organisations to facilitate problem solving and information sharing.