Double honours for smokefree success

Posted on in Health improvement

Staff at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have picked up two awards for helping patients to quit smoking.

The surgical pre-assessment team at The James Cook University Hospital and the trust’s maternity department received special recognition in the South Tees Stop Smoking Service 2018/19 Awards.

Both services have excelled in ensuring that smokers who attend hospital are referred to receive specialist support and medication to help them quit smoking.

The surgical pre-assessment team proactively deliver brief intervention to all smokers listed for surgery and routinely refer for treatment. Quitting smoking prior to surgery improves surgical outcomes and reduces the risks of complications and infections.

As an individual team, the surgical pre-assessment team supported more than 160 patients to start a quit attempt last year – more than any other team.

Victoria Goodridge from the pre-assessment team said: “Stopping smoking at any time before surgery can have a big impact so our message to patients is don’t give up giving up.”

The community midwifery team embedded a new electronic referral pathway over the last year and the maternity wards were the first wards at the trust to routinely provide nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to women admitted as smokers.

They have been cited as a model ward, leading the way for the rest of the trust to go smokefree, and as an example of good practice regionally.

Smokefree award maternity

Louise Hand, specialist midwife for public health at the trust said: “It is fantastic that the trust has won two stop smoking service awards.

“We officially became a smokefree NHS trust in April to help improve the health of our staff, patients and visitors with the launch of our Time to Clear the Air Campaign. All our departments can now provide smokers with the tools and support they need to quit smoking. This includes having NRT available for all inpatients.”

The South Tees Stop Smoking Service 2018/19 Awards come a year after the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) published a major report ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’ which highlighted that smoking is not a lifestyle choice but is a chronic relapsing long term condition and within the NHS should be treated as such with all smokers provided with support to quit.

Rachel McIlvenna, South Tees Stop Smoking Service manager said: “The excellent work pre-assessment and maternity continue to do contributes to the NHS Long Term Plan and to making South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust truly smokefree and this is very commendable.”