Fresh Start Stop Smoking Service has been working with the local hospital for several years but referrals into the service were relatively low. In January 2010 our stop smoking specialist met with a newly appointed Respiratory Consultant to discuss how to improve referrals and make the most of this ‘teachable moment’. It was decided to use an ‘opt out’ approach with the patients on the hospitals two respiratory wards. Stop Smoking Advisors are notified daily of any new patients who smoke – they then carry out an initial assessment to determine whether the patient wants to quit or use Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) temporarily to manage nicotine withdrawal.
A Patient Group Direction has been introduced for the ward nurses, to make NRT easily accessible to the patients. Champix has recently been added to the hospital formulary. In 11 months 351 respiratory patients were assessed and 77% accepted support. Of these 51% set a quit date and 66% were still quit at 4 weeks. The Respiratory Consultant has since become a British Thoracic Society Smokefree Champion for the trust and is spreading the stop smoking message to other areas of the hospital.