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Launch of new Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) Approach Training and Implementation Toolkit for practitioners supporting family carers in everyday practice

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Launch of new Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) Approach Training and Implementation Toolkit for practitioners supporting family carers in everyday practice

A new evidence based online training package for the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) Approach has been launched, helping practitioners from around the world to deliver focused assessment and support for family carers of patients with life limiting illness.


The CSNAT Approach has already been widely implemented across the UK, with over 450 practitioners being given face-to-face training.


The new online training package allows health and social care practitioners from across the world to access Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited training in how to implement the CSNAT Approach, in order to best meet the needs of carers. Importantly the training also addresses key organisational issues to be considered in planning, piloting and sustaining implementation in the longer term.


Prof Gunn Grande from the University of Manchester, who led the project in partnership with Dr Gail Ewing from the University of Cambridge said:


“Practitioners support patients at the end-of-life to stay at home, as that’s where they prefer to cared for. Key to making this happen is supporting the carer that supports the patient.”


“Without carers, you can’t keep patients at home. It’s estimated that carers, on average, provide around 70 hours of care per week, in the final months of life; and our research with Dimbleby Cancer Care evidenced that the majority of carers suffer considerable negative impact on their own psychological and physical health.


“There is therefore wide acknowledgement that carers’ needs must be assessed, acknowledged and addressed. And this is what the CSNAT Approach helps to achieve. This approach should also be applicable to carers of patients with long term or life limiting illness in general. ”


The CSNAT Approach puts the carer at the centre of defining the type of support they need.


Dr Gail Ewing said: “CSNAT is more than just a tool:  it is a practice intervention which uses a five stage person centred process to engage carers in a conversation about their support needs and what would help them and includes a shared review stage which recognises that carers’ needs change over time. ;  


“Carers introduced to The CSNAT Approach have told us that it gives them ‘permission to ask for help’ – which is really crucial when we know that many carers are reluctant to seek help for themselves. So it is important that practitioners supporting carers have the opportunity to complete a training in this approach.


During work with The CSNAT Approach, there was an identified need for practitioners to access training for the toolkit online; in order to provide more accessibility, flexibility and consistency, wherever in the UK or the world they are located.


The online training programme guides learners through training through bite sized topics, activities, and video tutorials and encourages a teamwork approach and group discussion.


It’s accessible online from anywhere in the world; and delivers the step-by-step guidance that practitioners are looking for.


The online CSNAT Approach is being implemented in teams across the UK, and also Canada, Australia, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Portugal and the online toolkit will help support this work.


With CPD endorsement, practitioners can gain professional accreditations whilst helping to improve the quality of life for carers people with life limiting illnesses around the world.


The toolkit and associated online training modules are available via



Notes for editors



About NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester

The Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) Greater Manchester is a partnership between providers and commissioners from the NHS, industry, the third sector and the University of Manchester.



About the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation's largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR:

  • Funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care
  • Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research
  • Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future
  • Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services
  • Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy


The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR commissions applied health research to benefit the poorest people in low- and middle-income countries, using Official Development Assistance funding.


This work uses data provided by patients and collected by the NHS as part of their care and support and would not have been possible without access to this data. The NIHR recognises and values the role of patient data, securely accessed and stored, both in underpinning and leading to improvements in research and care.



About The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester, a member of the prestigious Russell Group, is the UK’s largest single-site university with more than 40,000 students – including more than 10,000 from overseas. It is consistently ranked among the world’s elite for graduate employability.


The University is also one of the country’s major research institutions, rated fifth in the UK in terms of ‘research power’ (REF 2014). World-class research is carried out across a diverse range of fields including cancer, advanced materials, addressing global inequalities, energy and industrial biotechnology.


No fewer than 25 Nobel laureates have either worked or studied here.


It is the only UK university to have social responsibility among its core strategic objectives, with staff and students alike dedicated to making a positive difference in communities around the world.


Manchester is ranked 38th in the world in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017 and 6th in the UK.


Visit for further information.



For media enquiries contact:

Sam Wilkinson

Communication and Events Co-ordinator

CLAHRC Greater Manchester

0161 206 8551  


Date Published: 1/02/2019