Hospital sites used by Hartlepool patients will soon be smoke free.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says it has signed a national pledge to go smoke free by March 2019.
The 12-month countdown officially starts tomorrow – National No Smoking Day - with the launch of a campaign to stop people smoking in the women and children’s entrance way at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
While the trust’s hospital sites are already designated as no smoking areas, the move will see the public health campaign notched up another step as it commits to routinely offering smoking cessation advice to patients in all clinical areas and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to all inpatients, systematically recording the smoking status of all patients, with an opt-out approach to referrals for specialist advice and support and providing smoking cessation training and stop smoking support for staff.
The trust will also promote smokefree entrances and exits at its sites.
Maternity services are leading the way, working in partnership with local authorities and stop smoking services.
Figures show that the numbers of women smoking at delivery at South Tees reduced to 17.2% in the first half of the 2017/18 financial year, improving 36% since 2011/12 – the biggest drop in the region and double what has been achieved nationally.
“It’s an ambitious drive to pledge to go smoke free but we know it’s possible because it has already been achieved by our colleagues at Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust,” said Midwife Consultant Kay Branch, who leads the Trust’s Smokefree Steering Group. “As healthcare providers we have unique opportunities to influence lots of people who come into contact with us every day.
“Stopping smoking at any time has considerable benefits.”