Dr Burhan Khan Consultant Physician in Respiratory Medicine, Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford
As part of an ongoing process of staff education concerning tobacco use and referral to NHS Stop Smoking Service (SSS), and prior to the introduction of a new smoking referral system in the outpatient department , an audit was undertaken to examine current practice amongst clinicians.
The survey was completed by patients post clinic consultation and took place across two afternoon clinic sessions of: orthopaedics, urology, general medicine, general surgery, rheumatology, chest, gastrointestinal, cardiology and ear, nose and throat.
Clinicians’ are significantly missing opportunities to offer advice and support to patients. Only 35% (n=71) of patients attending clinic were asked if they smoked. These ‘missed’ opportunities not only have considerable health impacts upon the health of individuals but clinicians are failing to underline the seriousness of tobacco use to their patients and are setting a poor example to junior clinical and other staff groups.
Moreover, in this financial year, the failure of clinicians to use and encourage the use of the smoking 3AAAs , also jeopardises the achievement of the smoking CQUIN target and is incurring losses to the Trust by failing to refer to SST.
Burham is a Consultant Physician in Respiratory Medicine at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford.