Hospitals sign smokefree pledge

Posted on in Health improvement, Hospitals

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has signed a national pledge to go smokefree by March 2019.

The 12-month countdown officially started on National No Smoking Day (14 March) with the launch of a hard-hitting campaign to stop people smoking in the women and children’s entrance way at The James Cook University Hospital.

While the Trust’s hospital sites are already designated as no smoking areas, this latest move will see the public health campaign notched up another step as South Tees commits to:

  • Routinely offer smoking cessation advice to patients in all clinical areas and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to all inpatients
  • Systematically record the smoking status of all patients, with an opt-out approach to referrals for specialist advice and support
  • Provide smoking cessation training for Trust staff
  • Provide improved stop smoking support for Trust staff
  • Ensure NRT is easily accessible via onsite or nearby pharmacies
  • Promote smokefree entrances and exits across all hospital sites

Baby Nancy, pictured here with her dad John Webster, was one of the first newborns to benefit from the smokefree entrance

Maternity services are leading the way, working in partnership with local authorities and stop smoking services. Together they have already achieved smoking reduction by using the evidenced-based BabyClear model – offering Nicotine replacement on admission to hospital and rolling out stop smoking support to all clinical areas.

Efforts have now turned to a launching a hard-hitting entrance way campaign. The eye-catching and emotive smokefree branding is impossible to miss. It highlights the dangers of passive smoking and smoking during pregnancy and urges people not to make children and babies breathe in their smoke.

Figures show that the numbers of women smoking at delivery at South Tees reduced to 17.2% in the first half of the 2017/18 financial year, improving 36% since 2011/12 – the biggest drop in the region and double what has been achieved nationally!

“It’s an ambitious drive to pledge to go smokefree but we know it’s possible because it has already been achieved by our colleagues at Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust,” said Midwife Consultant Kay Branch, who leads the Trust’s Smokefree Steering Group.

“As healthcare providers we have unique opportunities to influence lots of people who come into contact with us every day.

“Stopping smoking at any time has considerable benefits but for people using secondary care services there are additional advantages including shorter hospital stays, reduced prescribing requirements and fewer post-operative complications.”

The smokefree campaign will be rolled out across all Trust services at James Cook, Friarage and community hospitals by 31 March 2019.

Chairman Designate Alan Downey added: “Signing up to the NHS Smokefree Pledge demonstrates our commitment to helping smokers quit and to providing smokefree environments across all our sites.

“Smoking is still the country’s biggest killer and I would like to urge all our staff, patients and visitors to support this bold initiative.”

Need support to stop smoking? Call Quit Well to speak to a trained advisor on 01642 727590.