NHS Colleagues on the Fylde Coast will be given access to support to help them stop smoking under a pilot scheme being delivered by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.
Tobacco is the top contributor to premature death in England with 96,058 avoidable deaths associated with its use recorded in England in 2019
It is estimated that around 90,000 NHS staff smoke in the country, and is estimated to cost the NHS as an employer and healthcare provider a total of £206m per year, or £2,810 per smoker due to sickness and tobacco related illness.
The new pilot scheme will see Blackpool Teaching Hospitals work with partners across the Fylde Coast Health and Care Partnership to deliver the NHS Staff Smokefree Service to reduce both rates of smoking and, as a result, healthcare inequalities in the local community.
The scheme will target Trust staff and NHS colleagues in the wider healthcare system – irrespective of the organisation they work for – along with contractors working on NHS premises such as contracted cleaners.
The scheme will work to offer a range of support including access to Specialist Stop Smoking Practitioners and a Clinical Psychologist, and a free supply of nicotine replacement therapy including the trial of e-cigarettes as a quit aid.
The Fylde Coast was chosen after each Integrated Care Board in the country was asked to put forward an area that would benefit most from a pilot scheme. Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership put forward the Fylde Coast due to the high levels of smoking particularly in the Blackpool and Wyre areas.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals was chosen as the provider of the service due to the success of its Inpatient Smokefree Service which launched earlier this year.
During April and May for instance, the service received 282 inpatient referrals, where practitioners discussed a treatment plan with almost 85% of those patients. Of these referrals, 144 patients have been referred into community services for further support.
Shane Faulkner, Service Manager and Operational Lead for Tobacco Dependency Treatment Services across the Fylde Coast, said: “We know that smoking presents a real challenge for the NHS both nationally and more locally.
“As the top contributor to health inequalities in England, with around 6.1 million people smoking in the country, supporting people to stop smoking has a real benefit.
“Blackpool Teaching Hospital’s Inpatient Smokefree Service has made a real difference to patients. We are looking forward to taking what we have learnt and applying it to support our NHS Staff Smokefree Service which will benefit the thousands of NHS colleagues who work on the Fylde Coast.
“By doing this we have the chance to make a significant difference to levels of smoking in the area and benefit not just the individuals themselves but also the wider community as we address existing health inequalities.”
To find out more about our NHS Staff Smokefree Service and how to access the service visit: NHS Staff Smokefree Service | Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (bfwh.nhs.uk) or you can contact the team directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or call the main office on 01253 957457