Our Trust has been smokefree since 1 April 2016. However, due to the pandemic, the smokefree restrictions were relaxed on some of our mental health wards while doing the best to still support smokefree environments. Moving forward, the Smokefree Policy will be relaunched wherein invariably all Trust’s sites will be completely smokefree wherein smoking by service users, staff and visitors will not be tolerated. The Trust will provide sufficient support for service users in the form of nicotine replacement therapy and will allow the use of e-cigarettes and vapes only in the outside areas through the inhouse tobacco dependency team: SUPORT. Staff will also be signposted through PAM (our occupational health provider) to NHS Staff smoking support services.
Your complete health and wellbeing, that includes both your physical and your mental health, is vital to support your journey towards recovery. The guidance provided by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), recommends that all hospital sites, including mental health, should be free from smoke.
As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, we are creating a healthier environment for everyone, which will mean that staff, service users, patients and all visitors will not be allowed to smoke anywhere on our sites – including wards, grounds and vehicles. We are aware that many hospitals and community service providers have already gone ‘smokefree’ following guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and we would like to support these wards further to maintain a smokefree environment.
There is a strong evidence base which shows that while 15% of the general population are smokers, around 50% of people having serious mental illness (SMI) smoke. Despite of this heavy tobacco dependence, smoking-related support is not offered in mental health settings assuming it to be difficult for this patient group. However, studies suggest people with SMI are equally motivated to quit.
There is also strong evidence that secondary care represents a unique teachable moment when a smoker is admitted in the hospital. Data from Ottawa, Canada has demonstrated that comprehensive secondary care programmes for tobacco dependence deliver immediate and highly significant reductions in admission rates and mortality. Some of the local authority services that can be contacted for support are as follows:
Birmingham – NHS stop smoking service
The Birmingham City Council functions through the GPs and Community Pharmacies to deliver their Stop Smoking Services. If you live, work or have your GP based in Birmingham, please contact your GP to find out more about the support and advice available to you to help you quit for good.
Solihull Gateway Services
The Solihull Integrated Lifestyle Service is delivered by Gateway Family Services and its primary partners. They can support with a wide range of lifestyle changes including stopping smoking, losing weight, doing more activity, and eating more healthily. To be eligible you should live in Solihull or have a Solihull GP.
For more information, or to refer over the phone, please call Gateway on 0800 599 9880. You can also refer online at www.gatewayfs.org/SILSreferral