Referral service aims to stub out smoking for patients it Queen Alexandra Hospital

HELP Amanda McKenzie project co-ordinator of a new smoking referral service in Portsmouth pictured with Big Cig.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (120273-3)
HELP Amanda McKenzie project co-ordinator of a new smoking referral service in Portsmouth pictured with Big Cig. Picture: Paul Jacobs (120273-3)
From left, Terence Rierkert, Matt Chapman, Steve Kramer, Dan Deeks, Theresa Newstead, Simon Freeman and Josh Roux
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170948-1)

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SMOKERS treated at Queen Alexandra Hospital are being asked if they want help kicking the habit.

The Cosham hospital is piloting a scheme to help those who want to quit. Each time someone goes to one of nine departments at the hospital, they’re asked if they smoke.

If they do, they’re then asked if they want help to stop.

Since it was introduced in November, 125 patients have been referred to stop-smoking support groups in the city and around Hampshire.

The scheme, known as the streamline secondary care system, is an initiative from the Department of Health.

Project manager Amanda McKenzie said: ‘We want to help patients to give up smoking and let them know that nicotine replacement therapy is available.

‘The idea is to refer people to smoking services within the city and the rest of Hampshire.

‘The service had been offered sporadically before, but now it is being done electronically and the scheme is unique to Portsmouth.’

Patients being treated at the hospital are asked if they smoke and if they want to give up.

‘This is not a finger-wagging exercise at patients – it’s letting them know help is there,’ added Amanda.

‘Smoking impacts the risk of post-operative complications and can delay recovery times for people. Stopping smoking is of great benefit to your health and can save you money.’

The hospital and The News have launched a poster competition, aimed at encouraging people to stop smoking outside its entrances.

There are two smoking shelters at QA – but they go ignored by hundreds of people who choose to smoke outside the entrances of the hospital.

In a bid to tackle this, health bosses are encouraging people to get involved with creating an effective poster to encourage smokers to use them.

The competition is open to people of all ages.

The winning design will be made into a poster and its designer will also win £100. Second prize wins £75, while third prize is £50.

The closing date for the competition is February 28.

To enter the contest, send your poster, along with the completed voucher, right, to: QA Poster Competition, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth, PO2 9SX.