‘Ad­dict’ treat­ment for all smok­ers in hos­pi­tal

Middleton Guardian - - THE LAUGHING BADGER - BETH ABBIT

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.

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