Specialist team gets award for helping smokers

The Stop Before Your Op team: (from left) Rebekah Gore, Stephanie Heathcote, Tracey Matthewman, Marie Farrell and Elena O�"Callaghan.
The Stop Before Your Op team: (from left) Rebekah Gore, Stephanie Heathcote, Tracey Matthewman, Marie Farrell and Elena O�"Callaghan.

A specialist team which helps Pilgrim Hospital patients give up smoking has scooped a national award for its work.

The Phoenix NHS Stop Smoking Service has been named as The Advisor magazine’s Team of the Year for its work in Boston Pilgrim and Lincoln County hospitals with the Stop Before Your Op initiative.

The service, part of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), sees staff visiting the Outpatients department and hospital wards, including maternity, to help smokers kick the habit.

The trust says patients who stop smoking are likely to be in hospital for a shorter stay and are less likely to develop post-surgery complications.

Since the launch of the service in March 2013, referrals from hospitals increased over the year by 400 per cent from 765 to 3,068, with the number of those managing to quit within four weeks also increasing from 251 to 706 (281 per cent).

Marie Farrell, Phoenix Stop Smoking advisor at LCHS, said she was ‘delighted’ and added: “This service plays a vital role in helping the public to understand the risks associated with smoking and how breaking the habit can contribute to a quicker recovery from illness. ”

Award judge Dr Alex Bobak said: “Every NHS hospital should be doing this, and I can’t understand why they aren’t as the benefits are huge.”