Fitness assessment for older patients in breast clinic

NHS staff already routinely assess the fitness of a patient in a variety of ways. The purpose of this form is to ascertain whether it is possible to make part of the assessment more consistent across breast units. This will be valuable towards improving our understanding of how breast cancer care is delivered across NHS hospitals.

This assessment form was initially piloted in December 2018. The results of this pilot are reported on in the NABCOP 2019 Annual Report.

NABCOP are continuing to evaluate the practicality and utility of this assessment form. If your breast unit is interested in taking part, please contact the project team at or on 020 7869 6139.


What is on the assessment form?

The form has three parts that record different aspects of patient health:

  • The Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS), a common measure of frailty
  • The Abbreviated Mental Test Score (AMTS). This is a short series of questions for you to ask the patient to measure their cognitive ability.
  • Three screening clinical questions on whether a patient has any major diseases e.g. dementia, cardio-respiratory disease, cancer.

The form will typically take less than 5 minutes to complete.

Download the study protocol and assessment form


Which patients are eligible for the pilot?

Patients are eligible for the pilot if they are:

  • aged 70 years or older,
  • able to speak English fluently,
  • able to understand the questions on the form, and
  • attending a breast clinic for the first time for suspicion of breast cancer (e.g. prior to any breast cancer diagnosis).

We suggest completed forms are placed within the person’s medical record.


What happens to the results of the assessment?

The pilot is not collecting the results of this fitness assessment. The aim of the study is to test whether the components on the assessment form can be easily collected during breast clinic. Therefore, we are collecting feedback about your unit’s experience of using the form e.g. ease of completion, patient feedback.

The feedback is collected using an online survey:

If you have questions about this form or NABCOP, please contact the project team at or on 020 7869 6139.