Background. Despite 30 years of research attention, discharge planning and district nurse (DN) referral remain problematic and few cancer-related publications exist. With shorter hospitalizations, discharged cancer patients and their carers may experience unmet needs for assessment, information and support. Although DN referral might enable patient/carer needs to be met, the DN role lacks clarity.
Aim. To investigate the needs of people with cancer, and their lay carers during discharge from hospital to home, and identify the role of DNs in meeting these needs.