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PHE calls on all NHS Trusts to meet 5YFV target to ban smoking on hospital grounds by spring 2020

A survey carried out as part of Public Health England’s Smokefree NHS campaign has found that almost one third of NHS acute Trusts in England have not yet enforced total smoking bans across the hospital premises. 


PHE’s Smokefree NHS campaign encourages all hospitals to provide smokefree environments as part of supporting smokers to quit and reducing tobacco-related harms. The NHS Five Year Forward View included a commitment for all Trusts to have fully smokefree sites by spring 2020.


The survey finds that 69% of Trusts have now banned smoking completely across their grounds, but 31% are yet to do so. 


Thousands of people are admitted to hospital because of smoking-related conditions every day.


Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive, Public Health England says: “One in four hospital beds are occupied by a smoker, and most of them want to quit. Many patients or visitors will be going through difficult times, but smoking remains England’s biggest preventable killer and it is time for the NHS to stop smoking within its hospital grounds, everywhere.


“It cannot be right that it is more acceptable in some hospitals to smoke at the front door than it is outside a pub.


“As well as encouraging Trusts to prohibit smoking on site, the Smokefree NHS campaign calls for all patients who smoke to be offered evidence-based quitting support. The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, commits to offering NHS-funded tobacco treatment services to all inpatients who smoke, regardless of why they are in hospital, by 2023 to 2024.”


The PHE survey also highlighted examples of how Trusts are successfully implementing smokefree policies, with mid-Yorkshire, Northumbria, South Tees and Great Western among those featured. 


Sharing good ideas

Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has a tannoy announcement system playing anti-smoking reminders recorded by children, which can be activated by any member of staff, patients or visitors by pressing a button in the hospital foyer. A Stop Smoking Service has been introduced at Pinderfields for staff, patients and visitors and almost 3000 patient-facing clinicians have completed Very Brief Advice training on smoking. The Trust is currently recruiting for a Clinical Nurse Specialist in smoking cessation. Click here for more information.


Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has replaced all smoking shelters with trees and plants. It has run an award-winning ‘Change is in the Air’ campaign, which has been adopted by other Trusts across the region. Dedicated training for all staff groups is available on offering Very Brief Advice for quitting smoking and information on smokefree is included as part of staff induction and appraisals. ‘I want to quit’ button is now included on staff intranet to help signpost expert advice and support. Click here for more information.


South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides stop smoking support and Brief Advice Training to all staff and has over 80 smokefree champions to advise staff and patients being recruited across all clinical areas. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is routinely offered to inpatients, with NRT available on all wards. Click here for more information.


Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has introduced trolley dashes around all wards and departments with information (for example leaflets and promotional literature) to raise awareness of the smokefree site. Public and staff education evenings are held on smoking cessation as well as stop smoking drop-in clinics. The Trust is due to install an announcement service with anti-smoking reminders recorded by children (for example “my grandfather is receiving treatment in this hospital, please do not smoke.”) Click here for more information.


Seema Kennedy, Public Health Minister concludes: “No one should have to walk past a cloud of smoke in order to enter or leave their local hospital – we must lead by example, and I am determined to see a smokefree NHS by 2020.


“Smoking is still one of the biggest causes of death in this country, and through our NHS Long Term Plan, every smoker admitted to hospital will now be offered targeted NHS support to quit. I am encouraged by this new survey, which shows great strides have already been made towards a smokefree NHS – I strongly urge all Trusts to follow suit.”