A new smoking cessation initiative, which has increased referrals by 49%, is to be rolled out across England following successful pilot projects.
The new scheme aims to energise health professionals into helping patients quit smoking by encouraging them to show commitment and support.
Patients receive support in the form of 10 supportive components that demonstrate the health team’s commitment to helping a patient quit smoking.
Although the service, Stop Smoking Interventions in Primary Care, is led by GP surgeries, practice nurses play a prominent role in supporting patients as they try and quit smoking.
The scheme has been piloted by stop smoking services in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
In the Rotherham region, the approach increased referrals by 49% between January 2007 and September 2008, from 292 to 432 across nine GP practices.
Irene Botham, clinical nurse manager at the Dinnington Group practice in Rotherham, said: ‘Our nurses received expert training from the local NHS Stop Smoking Service in smoking interventions.
‘We worked hard to drive forward the initiative in my practice and saw great results - since we implemented the new systems based approach our referral rates have increased by 82%.
‘There are clear clinical benefits to following this approach and health care professionals have a duty of care to help smokers to quit.
‘In addition, our patients can benefit from the assistance of NHS support with which they are up to four times more likely to quit.’