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Patients and families who smoke asked to QUIT

South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw QUIT logo
01 March 2022

Sheffield Children’s Hospital is implementing a groundbreaking stop smoking programme, which has the potential to save thousands of lives and hospital readmissions a year across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

The QUIT Programme is being delivered by South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (SYB ICS) in partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research, five local authorities and local Stop Smoking Services.

QUIT aims to transform the way smoking is tackled by the NHS by offering all patients aged 12 years or over who smoke access to Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), such as patches, gum and lozenges, and specialist support as part of their routine hospital care.

We’re piloting our own QUIT scheme from 28 February on some wards before rolling it out across the hospital. As part of the admissions process patients aged 12 and above will be asked if they smoke, or vape. Any who say they do will be referred to our team of specialist Tobacco Treatment Advisors and will be offered appropriate stop smoking support. The discussions will take place in private and any information volunteered will be dealt with in strict confidence.

Parents, carers and family members who smoke will also be offered a referral to the Tobacco Treatment Team so they can receive specialist support during the child’s admission and they can receive free NRT and ongoing support from an onward referral to the local community stop smoking service if they would find this helpful.

While the Tobacco Treatment Team will focus on the pilot areas to begin with, if any patient or parent on another ward would like support then they can also be referred to them.

Community-based stop smoking services will play a key role, ensuring medication and support is continued after leaving the hospital to give them and their family members the best chance of beating their tobacco addiction.

Trust staff who also want to stop smoking can receive NRT and support from the Tobacco Treatment Team.

Professor Sally Shearer, Executive Director of Nursing and Quality and Acting Deputy Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s NHS Hospital Trust, who is also the Trust’s executive sponsor for the QUIT Programme, said: “As one of only three specialist Children’s NHS Trusts in the country we, at Sheffield Children’s, are very aware that children are four times more likely to take up smoking themselves if they see their parents or family members smoke. And, nationally, it is estimated that parental smoking accounts for over 6,100 excess deaths per year in children under 19 years of age.

“A child’s hospitalisation is an ideal opportunity to encourage those young people who have already started to smoke, to stop, but also their parents or carers. When surveyed, parents of paediatric patients have demonstrated that they would be willing to quit smoking. The provision of stop smoking support has proven effective in helping parents and carers to quit.

“Quitting will not only benefit the parent or carer’s long-term health but will reduce the likelihood of the child beginning to smoke in later years.”

Based on evidence from a successful scheme in Ottawa, Canada, and a small project in Greater Manchester, the QUIT Programme targets smoking as an addiction – not a lifestyle choice.

The NHS across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw now recognises it has a responsibility to treat tobacco addiction as they would any other medical condition. It’s an addiction that prematurely kills at least half of those who smoke, but there are very effective treatments available.

The QUIT Programme is being implemented in all hospitals across eight acute, mental health and children’s NHS Trusts in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

Thanks to £1.8m in funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research, each hospital will have a team of Tobacco Treatment Advisors who will offer all patients who smoke effective nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) and specialist support as part of their routine hospital care.

QUIT forms the first part of a broader Healthy Hospitals Programme across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw and is also a key strand of the local Tobacco Control Alliances’ plans. Every hospital site in the region is working towards being completely smoke-free.

For more information about the QUIT Programme at Sheffield Children’s go to https://www.sheffieldchildrens.nhs.uk/patients-and-parents/stopping-smoking-and-quit-programme/

For more information about the QUIT Programme across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw go to www.sybics-quit.co.uk

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