29 May 2013
New campaign for a Stop Smoking Service in every UK hospital
The British Thoracic Society (BTS) is launching a campaign today for a Stop Smoking Service to be established in every UK hospital.
The Society – the body for professionals concerned with respiratory disease – wants the NHS to recognise that smoking cessation is not just about prevention: it is a treatment for sick smokers. It says that many smokers who need treatment are in hospital and Stop Smoking interventions are effective in that setting.
Dr Myra Stern, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at the Whittington NHS Trust in London, co-author of the ‘Case for Change’ report published to support the campaign, said:
“Not only are gains for the patients enormous, but so too potentially are gains for the hospital health economy. By investing in a Stop Smoking Service, Trusts will save costs on patient-related resources and can expect to secure better productivity from staff who quit.”
Working with the NHS Institution for Innovation and Improvement, the BTS has developed a tool to enable each Trust to calculate its return on investment from establishing a Stop Smoking Service. A network of Stop Smoking Champions in every hospital was established in 2011 and BTS is signing up these Champions and other respiratory clinicians around the country to make the case for change to hospital boards and commissioners.
Forthcoming NICE guidance ‘Smoking cessation: acute, maternity and mental health services’, expected in winter 2013, will set out proposals on supporting people in a hospital environment not to smoke, as well as supporting the smoke-free policies in hospitals.
One of the proposed recommendations in the draft of that guidance covers directors and senior managers in NHS-funded secondary care services providing leadership on stop smoking support.
Dr Bernard Higgins, BTS chair of trustees, said:
“We urge Trusts to take action now. Establishing a Stop Smoking Service is good for patients, good for hospital staff and good for NHS finances.”
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking & Health (ASH), said:
“People used to say that a hospital stay is the wrong time to help someone to quit, that there is just too much stress around. The opposite is true; it is precisely the right time. The need is clear and the opportunity is second to none. This report addresses a glaring gap in the struggle against Britain’s biggest killer.”
Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said:
“Stopping smoking is one of the most positive steps any patient can take to protect and improve their health, and hospitals - where patients are most focused on their health and surrounded by medical expertise and support - are the ideal setting in which to begin that process. Making Stop Smoking Services available in every hospital cannot only help Trusts cut readmissions, but can work towards significantly improving the all-round health of the local population”.
Further information: Ron Finlay, firstname.lastname@example.org
, 07779 013093
Note to Editors:
The Case for Change report and ROI calculator may be found at Stop Smoking Champions
A word version of this press release is available to download here