Karen Mather Health Improvement Practitioner, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, North East Sector
A recent study identified 98% of Scottish drug misusers as smokers.
When clients attending a Methodone Clinic within Bridgeton Health Centre were surveyed, this high level of smokers was replicated. The questionnaire also identified that nearly half of those smokers were interested in quitting. Staff from the North East Tobacco Team worked in partnership with the Lead Clinician from Glasgow Addictions Services to plan a pilot smoking cessation intervention within an addictions clinic in the area.
To establish a service where “hard to reach” clients are routinely asked about their smoking status, given information about the smoking cessation service and offered a referral/signpost to the on-site service.
A Health Improvement Practitioner from the tobacco team is based at the community addiction clinic on a weekly basis to engage with patients receiving opiate substitution therapy. Addiction staff will assess client’s suitability for the service, willingness to quit and ensure their level of stability, they will then refer or signpost onto Health Improvement Practitioner. Smoking cessation interventions are offered on 1:1 basis for up to 12 weeks. An intensive support, withdrawal oriented model is used in conjunction with motivational interviewing. NRT will also be recommended in line with NHSGG&C Smokefree Services protocol. CO levels are checked weekly as a motivational tool using a CO monitor.
A review will be completed at the end of the six month project. Results so far are positive.
Karen Mather is a Health Improvement Practitioner for Smokefree Community Services working within the North East Sector of Glasgow City CHP. She has been working in the tobacco field for the past six years specialising in smoking cessation.
As a practitioner she has been involved in the co-ordination and delivery of a comprehensive smoking cessation service across the North East area with a focus on areas with multiple deprivation factors. Using an intensive support, withdrawal oriented model in conjunction with motivational interviewing she has supported many clients over the years to succesfully stop smoking and has a good understanding of the issues which smokers face when they quit.
Source of funding: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde- North East Sector