Trust signs NHS Smokefree Pledge


The Trust has underpinned its commitment to going smokefree from October 2018 this year by signing the NHS Smokefree Pledge.


Launched by the Smokefree Action Coalition in January, the pledge is designed to be a clear and visible way for NHS organisations to show their commitment to helping smokers quit and to support them by providing smokefree environments.


Signatories also commit to ensuring that smokers within the NHS have access to the medication they need to quit in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance on smoking in secondary care.


Trust Chair Sharon Mays, Chief Executive Michele Moran and Medical Director Dr John Byrne signed the pledge following a request by Interim Chief Operating Officer Lynn Parkinson.


In a report to the Trust Board, Mrs Parkinson said: “All NHS organisations are being encouraged to sign the NHS Smokefree Pledge.


“Signing the pledge is a visible commitment to smokefree.”


Pledge signatories acknowledge that “smoking places a significant additional burden on health and social care services and is impacting on the future sustainability of the NHS”.


Public Health Minister Steve Brine and the chief executives of NHS England and Public Health England have given the commitment their backing.


Mr Brine said: “The NHS Smokefree Pledge supports the commitments made in the Tobacco Control Plan for England.


“The plan sets a number of ambitious targets to reduce smoking prevalence as we head towards England’s first smokefree generation. I am delighted to support the pledge.”


The cost of smoking to the NHS in England is £2.5 billion every year, and one in four patients in hospital is a smoker.


According to the pledge, the tobacco industry’s products kill 80,000 people in England every year.



Meet some of our Smoke Free Champions!

In preparation for going Smoke Free on 1 October 2018, we have introduced ‘Smoke Free Champions’ in our services ready to help teams, patients and families understand the changes coming up. Meet some of our Champions below, where they’ve shared their motivation behind joining the team.

“I am a ‘Smoke Free Champion’ because”…

Paula Newton, Mental Health Nurse, Crisis and Intervention Team Older Adults

“I am committed to working in a holistic way with the over 65 age group to promote healthy alternatives and provide the best possible support and healthcare.”

Abi Moore, Deputy Charge Nurse, Newbridges Acute In-patient Unit

“I'm dedicated to promoting the health and overall wellbeing of mental health service users. After hearing the experiences of other NHS Trusts who have successfully become smoke free sites, I feel it is important to take this opportunity to offer practical advice that can save lives.”

Hollie Wadsworth, Acting Deputy Charge Nurse, Hawthorne Court

“I am passionate about reducing the gap between the life expectancy of the general population and those with diagnosed serious mental illness, and reducing the assumptions and stigma attached to our patients and their abilities and motivations to stop smoking.”


National No Smoking Day - Wednesday 14th March

Did you know? Quitting smoking is the best thing any smoker can do for their health

Wednesday 14th March is National No Smoking Day and here at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust we are separating fact from fiction in our ‘Myth Busters’ feature. Click on the link to read the truth behind some of the most misunderstood smoking topics.

Smoking Myth Buster


Survey shows strong staff support for Trust’s smoke-free plans

More than 70 per cent of staff support the Trust’s plans to introduce smoke-free environments across all services and locations from October this year.

According to the results of an online survey conducted between 2 and 19 January, 50.86 per cent (207) ‘strongly agree’ with the proposal while 19.9 per cent (81) ‘agree’.

The survey results, which are attached, also show that more than three-quarters of staff believe it is their role to help patients abstain from or stop smoking.

A total of 76.92 per cent of respondents (300) say they ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ it is their duty, while 12.57 per cent (49) ‘disagree’ or ‘strongly disagree’.

The survey’s headlines were revealed at a well-attended Trust ‘smoke-free workshop’ for key staff including its ‘smoke-free champions’.

Held at Trust HQ, the event included a presentation by Mary Yates, who is nationally recognised for her work on smoking cessation in mental health services and is the current Smoke-Free Lead at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

Salli Midgley, Assistant Director of Operations (Nursing) at Humber NHS Foundation Trust, who organised the event, has used feedback from the workshop to draft a discussion paper on vaping and e-cigarettes for the senior management team, who will make a recommendation to the Executive Team on the use of e-cigarettes as part of the smoke-free premises roll-out.

Executive directors are scheduled to take a final decision before the end of the month on whether to allow vaping and the use of e-cigarettes.

This decision will be included in the updated smoke-free policy, which is being designed to support the implementation plans and is due to be approved by the end of March.

Other work is also under way to prepare for the smoke-free policy’s introduction.

Training to help staff become tobacco dependence advisers is being developed and details are expected to be revealed in April.

Weeliat Chong, the Trust’s Chief Pharmacist and Director of Pharmaceutical Services, is preparing a protocol to allow qualified staff to administer nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), which is an over-the-counter medicine, without the need for a prescription.

There has also been an excellent response to the Trust’s call for staff to become ‘smoke-free champions’. The group is meeting monthly and would welcome new members.

Further updates on the Trust’s smoke-free proposals will follow shortly.

Any questions about the plans should be directed to


Trust to go smoke-free across all services on 1 October 2018

Smoking is to be banned on all Trust sites from October 2018 as clinical leaders move to comply with public health guidance (NICE PH48 – Smoke Free Premises).

Smoking is already prohibited at the Humber Centre, the Trust’s specialist forensic service, but the smoke-free status is yet to be introduced across adult and older peoples inpatient wards or learning disability services.

Patients, their carers and relatives will be asked to abstain from smoking on Trust premises. Inpatients will be supported with choices to aid quitting or abstinence while they receive inpatient care.

Explaining Smoke Free, clinical leaders cite the following advice from the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT):

“It is now nationally mandated that mental health settings (and all general health care settings) become totally smoke-free and that smoking is banned from hospital/healthcare buildings and grounds.”

Permitting smoking on Trust sites is also not thought to be compatible with the NHS’s duty to improve health and wellbeing.

The welfare of patients, as well as their carers, relatives and Trust staff, is a key concern.

According to the NCSCT:

  • People with mental health or substance misuse problems buy approximately 42% of the tobacco sold in the UK;
  • High rates of smoking are recorded amongst people with a serious mental illness, identifying that they tend to smoke more and be more dependent, which worsens the health inequalities they suffer. These include their tendency to experience physical illnesses more frequently, and in some cases more severely, and their considerably shorter life expectancy;
  • People who smoke have more severe mental health symptoms, require higher doses of psychotropic medication and spend more time in hospital compared to people with a mental illness who do not smoke;
  • People with a serious mental illness spend more of their disposable income on cigarettes and prioritise them over food and leisure activities. Smokers are more likely to report having suicidal thoughts and have higher rates of suicide;
  • Although stopping smoking will have the greatest impact on their health, many people with mental health needs lack confidence in their ability to quit and historically have not routinely been offered specialist help to do so;
  • Mental health inpatient and community staff have a critical window of opportunity to identify people who smoke, advise on the most effective way of stopping smoking and either provide, or refer people for, specialist support.

The NCSCT states “evaluations of the implementation of smoking bans in mental health settings report no increase in the frequency of aggression, the use of seclusion, discharge against medical advice, or the use of required medication”.

Clinical leaders are planning to provide further details about the Trust’s smoke-free project in the Midday Mail and Global emails, and at engagement sessions scheduled to be held in the New Year. A specific area of the staff intranet will be dedicated to smoke-free resources and the latest developments.


Smoke-free video

The following video, made by and reproduced here with the kind permission of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, reflects our Trust’s approach to smoke-free: