Scheme to help stop smoking is a success

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A PILOT system trialled in parts of Queen Alexandra Hospital to try to help people stop smoking will now be used across all departments.

Medical professionals asked all patients in participating wards whether they smoked and if they want help to quit since November last year.

This has lead to an increase of referrals to NHS stop smoking services – and now the scheme is being extended to all wards at QA.

It is also being adopted as a policy by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA. This means patients will be asked if they smoke by their doctor, nurse or health professional.

Simon Holmes, medical director for the trust said: ‘During the pilot of the stop smoking referral system between November 2011 and February 2012, we received a 600 per cent increase in referrals on to the local stop smoking services.

‘We had a really enthusiastic response from patients who agreed to be referred, and I would like to encourage the rest of the trust to embrace this new referral system.’