Smoking kills half of all long term users and is the biggest single cause of preventable ill health and inequalities in the death rates between rich and poor. More than one in four of all cancers are attributable to cancer. There are more than 700,000 smokers in the region. Each smoker costs the NHS £658 per year. In the East Midlands there are around 6,800 smoking attributable deaths each year (06-08 data). In 2008/09 there were more than 50,000 smoking related hospital admissions in the region; these admissions resulted in more than 900,000 hospital bed days. Smoking reduces the benefits of other medical treatments and smoking pre-operatively affects post-operative recovery; smokers have longer lengths of stay due to complications (0.4-2.0 bed days). Tobacco use also impacts on the wider economy through workforce health. Smokers take on average eight days a year more sick leave than non-smokers.
The East Midlands has significantly higher rates of smoking attributable hospital admissions than the England average (APHO Tobacco Profiles). It is estimated that each year more than 200,000 smokers are admitted to hospital in the region (based on crude prevalence rate of 20%). Only a small proportion (approx 2%) are offered a referral to services providing specialist support to give up even though they are four times more likely to give up with specialist support than unaided.
What we're doing to tackle the problem
A branded (Time for a Quit Chat) staff engagement programme/campaign for local use including website for staff (Quitchat.org.uk)
A bank of peripatetic ‘accredited’ trainers to train hospital staff accessed through an on-line booking system
A Brief Advice training toolkit (egpowerpoint presentation, fact sheets, groups exercises)
Development work on electronic referral system from hospitals to stop smoking services
An outcomes focused CQUIN indicator for Brief Advice and referral.