Smokers admitted to Walsall Manor Hospital will soon be offered a service to help them to quit the habit.
Patients will be visited by a tobacco dependency team which will admit them into the Q.U.I.T programme if they consent.
The support is in line with the national requirement from April 2023 for all inpatients who smoke to have the opportunity to be referred to a tobacco dependency adviser. The same applies to pregnant women and their partners.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust is an early adopter of this programme.
The new service will be starting in early September with a phased roll-out starting with the Acute Medical Unit, respiratory wards, gynaecology wards and the trust’s stroke rehabilitation unit. It will then be rolled out to all wards by the end of March 2023.
Q.U.I.T stands for ‘Ask the QUESTION, UNDERSTAND their addiction, INFORM patients that specialist help is available, initiate TREATMENT’.
The team will visit the patients that smoke, following referral by the ward or a doctor, offer them advice on what is available to help them quit and make sure they have the right Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).
Patients have to proactively choose to be referred too. In addition, the team will try to catch up with other smokers on wards when staff have time to do so.
Arrangements will be made for discharged patients to link in with their local pharmacy service to continue their support and treatment.
Jackie Smith, Project Manager – Smoking Cessation said: “By giving the patients support and treatment, this service will help patients who smoke whilst in hospital to overcome the cravings associated with nicotine withdrawal and therefore make their stay much more comfortable. Then on discharge, they have the benefit of a totally free 12-week service provided by a local pharmacy to continue their support and treatment therefore enabling them to QUIT smoking for good.
“This will also benefit the Trust because helping patients to QUIT smoking permanently reduces the risk of readmission and further complications for smoking-related illnesses. Latest research suggests that smoking costs the NHS around £5bn per year.”
She added: “It feels amazing to be getting this service implemented at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust. My Dad suffers with COPD (he was a welder and a smoker) and if he had not given up smoking when he was first diagnosed then he would not be here today. Getting this service up and running will help Walsall patients QUIT smoking and have a healthier future.”
Partners of Walsall’s mums-to-be, or one family member in the household, are now offered support to quit smoking for the sake of the babies and children who share their homes.
This new support consists of a 12 week support programme, through Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Health in Pregnancy Services.
Pregnant women who smoke and are under the care of maternity services in Walsall will continue to be supported alongside their partner or family member.
Stopping smoking is one of the best things people can do to improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Research shows that most people who come into hospital who smoke want to stop. But quitting on their own is hard.
It is now recognised that smoking is a chronic, relapsing medical condition not a lifestyle choice, which should be treated just like any other disease.
Fortunately, there are very effective treatments and through the QUIT Programme, these will now be offered to Walsall patients when they come into hospital or the rehabilitation unit.