‘Addict’ treatment for all smokers in hospital
ALL smokers admitted to hospital in Greater Manchester will soon be offered ‘addiction treatment’.
Health chiefs say the scheme will save £10m a year and free up thousands of beds in hospitals across the region.
The scheme, which is a UK first, has started at Wythenshawe Hospital and is due to be rolled out across all of the region’s hospitals by 2020.
Now all patients admitted to the hospital who smoke will have their level of addiction to tobacco assessed and then prescribed medication or nicotine replacements to deal with their withdrawal while in hospital.
They will also be offered support from a specialist ‘smoking cessation nurse’ to quit smoking whilst in hospital and to keep off the cigarettes once they leave.
The CURE programme has been launched on the first day of Stoptober – a nationwide stop-smoking challenge which encourages smokers to get support to quit. After a six month trial, the scheme is due to be rolled out in hospitals across Greater Manchester by 2020.
It is hoped the scheme will eventually support more than 18,000 people to successfully quit smoking, and save more than 3,000 lives in its first year alone.
The CURE Programme is estimated to deliver savings of nearly £10 million per year, reducing hospital readmissions and releasing around 30,880 bed days a year across Greater Manchester.
It has been modelled on a Canadian scheme which has helped 35 per cent of smoking patients to quit, led to marked reductions in hospital readmissions to hospital and mortality rates.
It is part of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s Making Smoking History programme.
Dr Matt Evison, consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Wythenshawe Hospital, said: “A stay in hospital is often a time where people focus on their health, whether or not they’re being admitted for a condition related to their smoking.
“There is no greater step a smoker can take to improve their health than stopping smoking. But nicotine is highly addictive and smoking is a hard habit to kick without support and medication.
“The good news is that we have some very effective treatments for this disease, medications that help break this dependence on nicotine.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, said smoking remains the biggest single cause of early death and ill health in Greater Manchester. “The CURE Programme is part of our wider ambition for Greater Manchester to be the first city-region in Europe to make smoking history,” he said. “Currently, only six per cent of hospital patients who smoke are referred to specialist smoking cessation services.
“With the CURE Programme we want to make that 100 per cent across Greater Manchester, so that those who want to quit get the best possible support to do so.”
Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership is aiming to reduce smoking rates in the region by a third by the end of 2020.