Carer Needs Tool

Most people who have advanced cancer want to remain at home, and die there, if possible. Family members or friends often take on a carer role, providing practical and emotional support. 

However, caring can affect your health and well-being. Carers need to take care of themself, as well as the person they love.

As a carer, you will have various needs - for information and training, for support, or for respite (taking a break). And, these needs can change over time. Identifying your needs as a carer is useful. It can prompt you to seek relevant information or to reach out to your GP or other health professional for support.

About the Needs Assessment Tool for Carers (NAT-C)

A group of researchers looked at the most common issues that affect carers supporting someone with cancer. They developed and tested a form that carers could use to help them pinpoint their particular needs. The carers on the study found the form very useful. 

The form is called the Needs Assessment Tool for Carers, or NAT-C. This tool is now available for any carer to use.

Using the NAT-C

Step 1: Assess your needs

The NAT-C helps you identify your needs by marking what issues you have. It also prompts you to determine how concerning they are. You can highlight issues that you would like to discuss with your GP, or another health provider such as a community nurse. You can print the form below.

Step 2: Useful resources

As you filled out the form, you might have identified that you need further information. This list of CareSearch pages can be used to find relevant information and resources.

Step 3: Talk to your health team

Take the NAT-C with you when you next talk to your GP or another health professional. This will help you to focus on your concerns.

You may also find as you use the form that you need more than just information. You may need support or someone to talk to. If you have worrying concerns, you should make a time to talk to your GP or other health professionals who are helping to provide care.


The CareSearch website only provides general palliative care information. It is not intended to replace the care or advice of your own health professionals. 

  • If it is an emergency, dial 000 for immediate emergency services help
  • Ring your GP or hospital
  • There is an After Hours GP Helpline
  • Ring Lifeline on 13 11 14

Further information about the Carer and GP study

Last updated 22 August 2018