Only 1 in 16 acute trusts across England are tobacco-free
Only a quarter of patients in England are offered help to stop smoking while in hospital
Smoking is responsible for 5% of all hospital admissions in England in those aged over 35
The cost of smoking to the NHS is estimated to be £2 billion annually
During 2015 to 2016 the additional spending on social care for adults aged 50 and over in the South West was approximately £140 million
To mark National No Smoking Day 2017, Public Health England is asking hospital trusts across the South West to renew their commitment to making their sites tobacco-free.
In 2014 trusts across the South West were encouraged to sign up to the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control, which involves making a public commitment to work towards further reducing smoking prevalence. So far only 2 of the 17 acute trusts across the region have added their signatures to the statement.
According to the latest research findings by the British Thoracic Society, only 1 in 16 hospital sites across England are completely tobacco-free and only a quarter of patients who were identified as smokers were asked if they would like to quit smoking while in hospital. The research concluded that hospitals interventions to tackle smoking while patients are in hospital need to be improved.
This call to action follows the letter written by Public Health England (PHE) Chief Executive Duncan Selbie in October 2016 to every NHS Trust Chief Executive asking them to implement a ban on smoking by patients, staff and visitors across all hospital buildings and grounds. Duncan’s letter refers to the NICE PH48 guidance, which offers effective ways to help people stop smoking or to abstain from smoking while using or working in hospital settings.
Russ Moody, Tobacco-control lead for Public Health England South West said:
“Reducing smoking rates is a vital element of our vision for a healthier society. By working closely with trusts to ban use of tobacco and support use of interventions effectively to help patients stop smoking, we will be better able to prevent the rise of smoking related diseases.
“Signing the declaration is only the start of the journey. Staff, patients and visitors who smoke will need to be given the tools and support they need to stop smoking. Many people who receive treatment in hospital are admitted because of smoking related illness, and recovery is often slower if they continue to smoke.”
Smoking is responsible for 5% of all hospital admissions in England in those aged over 35 and the cost of smoking to the NHS is estimated to be £2 billion annually. During 2015 to 2016 the additional spending on social care for adults aged 50 and over in the South West was approximately £140 million.
Across the South West, several trusts have led the way in recent years with smoking bans on hospital grounds, while many more are working with other organisations including their local authority public health teams towards going completely smoke-free in the future.
Dr Ellen Wilkinson, Medical Director at Cornwall Partnership Trust, said
“We believe that making a visible commitment to becoming smoke free across all our sites sends a clear message that we value peoples’ health and wellbeing and want to support them to make healthy choices.
“We are working on a plan to support our staff in going smoke-free on site from April this year, ensuring that they have access to cessation tools and information about the damage that smoking causes. We are aiming to engage with patients on this issue from April 2018.
“We support the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control and we know that going smoke-free is a challenge but it is one we are eager to tackle and the benefits will be huge for our community.”Follow