A hospital trust set to become smoke free early next year is launching an awareness campaign offering support and advice to staff and patients.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has been raising awareness to patients and staff about the support and advice on offer to help people quit smoking.
The trust has signed a national pledge to be completely smoke-free by March next year.
Over the next few months the trust is focusing on making people aware of its mission to go smoke-free and to help and support smokers to quit.
Areas being focussed on include around the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.
Trust chiefs are aiming to stress to people is the ‘importance to have a healthy environment around our hospital sites’.
Clare Henry, the trust’s specialist alcohol and tobacco nurse adviser, has been raising awareness this week across the University Hospital of North Tees.
She said: “Earlier this year the trust re-launched its smoke-free agenda, committing to being completely smoke-free by March next year.
“Over the next few months we will be spreading the message to as many people as possible about what we can all do to help go smoke-free.
“We are particularly focusing on the areas around our two main hospital sites, including the main entrances.
“We understand there are many reasons why people might choose to smoke outside the hospital – whether you’re a patient or a worried or anxious relative.
“What we are looking to stress to people is the importance to have a healthy environment around our hospital sites.
“We are here to help smokers to quit – we have staff who can offer expert advice and nicotine replacement therapy.
“We really appreciate all of the support we are getting from staff, patients and visitors to go smoke-free.”
All hospital patients who smoke are now being offered nicotine replacement therapy and a referral to the community stop smoking service.
To find out more visit https://www.nth.nhs.uk/services/stop-smoking-service/
People can also contact the trust’s service on 01642 383819.