Calls for frontline NHS staff to use training to help smokers quit

Ethan Roberts-Watts, 13, from Gosport, is donating presents to elderly patients at QA Hospital

Gosport boy answers QA Hospital appeal and donates gifts to patients

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FREE online training for NHS frontline staff is the latest weapon being used to help decrease the number of smokers.

Public Health England is calling on medical staff to use the training to help them deliver effective stop-moking advice.

It comes as latest figures from PHE show, nationally, the burden to the NHS from smoking is £2.6bn.

In Portsmouth, there are 359 deaths per 100,000 attributed to smoking which is higher than the south east average of 249 deaths per 100,000 and the national average of 283 deaths.

Hampshire, excluding Portsmouth and Southampton, is performing better than the national average with 220 deaths per 100,000 attributed to smoking.

The figures from PHE looked at how many admissions to hospital are attributed to smoking-related issues.

In Portsmouth, it was 1,645 per 100,000 hospital admissions, which is higher than the south east average of 1,307 per 100,000. But the Portsmouth figure is lower than the national average of 1,726 per 100,000.

For Hampshire, there were 1,163 hospital admissions per 100,000 attributed to smoking.

NHS England is investing almost £600m in schemes, including one which focuses on identifying and supporting people who smoke at higher risk levels.

Under the scheme, additional funding is being made available to hospitals that help their patients to quit smoking.

PHE is encouraging all healthcare staff to do a 30-minute online course providing examples of how brief advice can be delivered to patients, including key facts, figures and messages.

Evidence shows it can increase a patients chances of quitting by 68 per cent.

Jennie Leleux, health and wellbeing lead for tobacco for PHE south east, said: ‘Every year smoking costs the NHS in England a staggering £2.6bn and in the south east alone causes around 12,800 deaths.

‘And for every death, a further 20 smokers are suffering from a smoking-related disease.

‘Smokers respond well to healthcare staff giving advice and as health professionals we have a duty to take every opportunity to help end the needless, preventable misery and suffering smoking causes.

‘A truly smoke-free NHS isn’t just about banning smoking on hospital grounds, it’s about healthcare staff doing all they can to encourage patients and visitors, as well as colleagues to lead by example, to stop.

‘The good news is that the training is easily accessible and effective. We’re seeing record breaking successful quit rates this year.’