How front­line health staff could help smok­ers quit

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Your Views - BY JOHN McDOUGALL john.mcdougall@trin­i­tymir­ @JMacD1988

FRONT-LINE NHS staff in Hal­ton are be­ing urged by Pub­lic Health Eng­land (PHE) to re­ceive train­ing to help them de­liver ef­fec­tive stop smok­ing ad­vice.

The lat­est fig­ures show the bur­den to the NHS in Eng­land from smok­ing is £2.6bn.

In 2015-16, there were 78,270 peo­ple in the North West who ended up in hos­pi­tal due to smok­ing at­trib­ut­able con­di­tions.

The re­gion boasts an av­er­age smok­ing at­trib­ut­able mor­tal­ity per year of 13,382 – the high­est in Eng­land – while 40,146 died due to smok­ing be­tween 2013 and 2015.

NHS Eng­land is in­vest­ing al­most £600m in Com­mis­sion­ing For Qual­ity And In­no­va­tion (CQUIN) schemes, in­clud­ing one which fo­cuses on iden­ti­fy­ing and sup­port­ing peo­ple who smoke or who drink al­co­hol at higher risk lev­els.

Un­der the scheme, ad­di­tional fund­ing is be­ing made avail­able to hos­pi­tals that help their pa­tients to quit smok­ing.

PHE is en­cour­ag­ing all health­care staff to un­der­take a 30 minute on­line course, pro­vided by the Na­tional Cen­tre For Smok­ing Ces­sa­tion and Train­ing, based around short film clips pro­vid­ing ex­am­ples of how very brief ad­vice can be de­liv­ered to pa­tients in­clud­ing key facts, fig­ures and mes­sages.

PHE North West health and well­be­ing man­ager Tas­neem Choudhri said: “Ev­ery year smok­ing costs the NHS in Eng­land a stag­ger­ing £2.6bn and in the North West alone causes around 13,000 deaths.

“And for ev­ery death, a fur­ther 20 smok­ers are suf­fer­ing from a smok­ingre­lated dis­ease.

“Smok­ers re­spond well to health­care staff giv­ing ad­vice and as health pro­fes­sion­als we have a duty to take ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to help end the need­less, pre­ventable mis­ery and suf­fer­ing smok­ing causes.

“A truly smoke-free NHS isn’t just about ban­ning smok­ing on hos­pi­tal grounds, it’s about health­care staff do­ing all they can to en­cour­age pa­tients and visi­tors, as well as col­leagues to lead by ex­am­ple, to stop.

“The good news is that the train­ing is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble and ef­fec­tive.

“We’re see­ing record break­ing suc­cess­ful quit rates this year.

“Most smok­ers want to quit and all health­care staff should seize the mo­ment and be ready to in­ter­vene and have that cru­cial chat about smok­ing.”

Staff are be­ing urged to train to help smok­ers quit

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