Helping our patients and colleagues to QUIT smoking

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals are launching the QUIT service to help patients and staff give up smoking.

The service will offer every patient who smokes (over the age of 12) access to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and specialist stop smoking support during their hospital stay from teams of trained Tobacco Treatment Advisers funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Rather than seeing smoking as a lifestyle choice, hospitals in eight NHS Trusts – including Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust – will now offer smokers treatment for their tobacco addiction as part of their routine care.

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

The service will also offer support to hospital staff who  smoke.

Simon Brown, Acting Deputy Chief Nurse at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The QUIT programme is a positive step for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. It means we can support people to begin their stop-smoking journey when they are already in touch with our health services and help them improve their general health. Stopping smoking can help people manage an existing condition and avoid further hospital visits in the future.

“By working alongside local community stop smoking services, we can make sure patients continue to receive support once they are discharged from hospital.

“Smoking remains one of our major public health challenges in terms of its contributions to health inequalities in our region and its impact on life expectancy, but it is preventable with intervention tools like QUIT. Ultimately, the QUIT programme will improve the health of our local communities and enable people in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to live longer, healthier lives.”

Tobacco smoke is estimated to be responsible for 15% of cancers in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw and 27% of all cancer deaths. This means that 1,350 cancers and nearly 1,100 cancer deaths are attributed to smoking each year.

Nearly 200,000 people smoke in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw and more than half of those will die prematurely from smoking-related illness, losing on average 10 years of life.

It is hoped the region wide approach to actively treating tobacco addiction will help bring smoking rates down to below 10%, saving thousands of lives. 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.

In addition to the stop smoking support being offered to patients, colleagues at the hospital also have the opportunity to access nicotine replacement therapy and support through their on-site Health and Wellbeing team.

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.

Yorkshire Cancer Research have provided £1.8m in funding to support the QUIT Programme and Chief Executive Dr Kathryn Scott said: “It is estimated that 1,350 cancers diagnosed in South Yorkshire every year are caused by smoking. The QUIT Programme will help Yorkshire Cancer Research reach unprecedented numbers of people in the region with the support they need to stop smoking for good, reduce their risk of premature death from a wide range of smoking-related cancers and save countless families from distress and heartbreak.”