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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Our Trust Goes Smokefree

Published: 04/04/2016


Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has been ‘smokefree’ from Friday 1 April 2016. The initiative was put in place following guidance from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which has advised that all hospital sites should be free from smoke.

This smoking ban has meant that patients, visitors and staff will not be allowed to smoke on any secure care and non-acute inpatient services site from 1 April onwards with all other Trust service locations – including home visits – going completely smokefree on Sunday 1 May 2016.

The Trust has encouraged staff and service users to use their local NHS Stop Smoking Service to help them to give up smoking if they wish to. The Trust has also created printed and online materials to provide more information and guidance to those who have been affected by the change.

Sue Coffee, Head of Health and Wellbeing Services, said: “Smoking can have a detrimental effect on those living with mental health problems, as it can negatively impact their mood and general health. People who smoke are likely to experience less mood stability – caused by withdrawal symptoms between cigarettes – and smoking can prevent participation in vital therapeutic activity.”

“It is also more likely for people who are living with a mental health problem to smoke and to smoke more heavily than the general population, which can negatively impact their health and finances. Smoking can also directly impact the level of medication that is needed as part of their care.”

A range of support has been developed for patients who are currently in, or are being admitted on to, a Trust inpatient ward with community-based services offering support and advice to help people who want to quit smoking as part of their journey towards recovery.

John Short, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “The creation of a smokefree environment will help to foster a better attitude to health and wellbeing across the various locations of the Trust and its community, which will be beneficial to both service users’ and staff.

I do appreciate that this may be a difficult time for those people who do smoke and we are making every effort to support individuals through this journey towards a smokefree healthcare environment.”