Somerset Partnership goes smokefree

Date: 30 October 2017

All sites for community and mental health services smokefree on 1 January 2018

Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is joining the growing number of NHS Trusts across England who are going ‘smokefree’. From 1 January 2018, tobacco smoking, vaping and the use of e cigarettes will not be allowed anywhere on any trust site for staff, patients, carers or families.   There will be an exception for those patients who are inpatients in either mental health wards or community hospitals where disposable e-cigarettes will be allowed to be used in certain outside areas.

Announcing the measures, Somerset Partnership’s Head of Mental Health Nursing, Paul Milverton, said:

“As an NHS trust, we have a responsibility to make sure we provide a safe, healthy environment for staff, patients and visitors so it makes sense that we go completely smoke free”.

“We know that tobacco smoking is the main cause of preventable illness and premature death in England. It causes a wide range of diseases and medical conditions, including cancers, respiratory diseases, coronary heart disease, impotence and infertility. One in two long term smokers die prematurely as a result of smoking.

“People who experience a mental health problem are in a particularly high risk group and have a reduced life expectancy of around 10-20 years. We have a duty to all our patients to support them to be smoke free when in our care, and to encourage them to remain smoke free in future.”

Paul Milverton explained the support that will be available to patients who smoke and said:

“We understand it can be difficult to stop smoking and we are making sure there is support available to anyone who wishes to quit for good. For those who don’t want to give up just yet, help will be available to combat nicotine cravings while in our care. As the entire NHS increasing moves towards a Smokefree approach we will take every opportunity to help our patients, carers, staff and visitors become Smokefree.

“Trained Stop Smoking Practitioners will be available on all inpatient wards to provide support and practical help for patients with nicotine dependence – this could include Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) in the form of patches, gum, tablets or e-cigarettes and behavioural interventions.”

Patients anticipating admission to one of our wards are being advised to call Smokefreelife Somerset on 01823 356 222 to get advice and practical help during their stay. Smokefree Somerset also offers support for people quitting smoking completely.

For more information please visit our Smokefree webpage.