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Barts Health goes smoke free

59On Thursday 1 October 2015, The Royal London, Mile End and St Bartholomew’s hospitals, along with all Barts Health hospitals, will go smoke free.

From this date, all patients, visitors and staff will not be allowed to smoke or use electronic cigarettes anywhere on Trust premises, including doorways and car parks.

Tobacco addiction kills many hundreds of patients at Barts Health every year and contributes to many hospital admissions for heart attacks, strokes, breathing problems and cancers. To tackle this, the Trust has committed to extending smoke free areas to anywhere on Trust premises to create a healthier environment for patients, visitors and staff.

Anyone spotted smoking will be asked to extinguish the cigarette and to leave the premises should they wish to continue smoking.

The Trust has partnered with Tower Hamlets Council and invited the council’s smoke free officers to help patrol The Royal London Hospital site to help people to stub out for good. Officers from the Council will offer advice to smokers on how to get support to stop smoking*.

Patients, families and friends are asked to support the smoke free initiative and help to create a healthier environment for all.

To tackle this, the Trust has committed to creating a smoke free and therefore healthier environment as well as to help patients and staff to give up smoking.

Dr Ian Basnett, Director of Public Health at Barts Health NHS Trust, explained: “People are asked to respect and support the Trust’s aims by not smoking on Trust grounds. Please make sure you look for signs that will tell you the hospital boundaries.

“Being in hospital is an ideal opportunity to offer people support to help them to stop smoking – and they will experience immediate health improvements by giving up.”

Research shows that people are four times more likely to stop smoking with support than when going it alone.

From 1 October, Trust staff will be encouraged to record every patient’s smoking status, advising those who smoke about the health benefits of stopping and offering inpatients Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) including patches, medication, inhalers and nasal spray.

People will also be offered help to quit using NHS specialist stop smoking services. With the patient’s consent, an automatic online referral is generated by their clinician which prompts their nearest local support centre to contact the patient directly within four days of the referral to offer 1-to-1 or group support. Through the service people can access behavioural support, nicotine replacement therapy and medication which further improves their chance of quitting.

Staff are also being supported to stop smoking with easy access to self-refer online to a local NHS support group either near to their home or close to work. The Trust’s Public Health team also run regular drop-in stop smoking clinics to encourage staff to look after their own health, as well as their patients.

Dr Basnett continued: “Staff have been asked to play their part in making our sites smoke free by asking colleagues, visitors and patients to stop smoking, vaping or charging electronic cigarettes on Trust premises. If you are approached by a member of staff or security, please remember that they are helping to ensure a healthier environment for all.”