Meadowfield Hospital in Worthing is going to go ‘smoke free’ from tomorrow.
All Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trusts, of which the hospital is one, will launch the initiative on National No Smoking Day to ‘create a healthier environment for everyone’.
Staff, patients, carers and visitors will not be allowed to smoke anywhere on site, including doorways, grounds and car parks.
According to the trust, people with mental health problems are more likely to smoke, and to smoke more heavily than other people and this is one of the main reasons that they tend to have poorer physical health and lower life expectancy.
The smoke from tobacco also reduces the effectiveness of some types of medication meaning larger doses are required compared to that needed by a non-smoker.
Sussex Partnership sites include Langley Green Hospital in Crawley, The Oaklands Centre in Chichester, Millview Hospital in Brighton and Chalkhill in Haywards Heath.
It also has services at Conquest Hospital in Hastings and Eastbourne District General Hospital.
Diane Hull, executive director of nursing and patient experience at Sussex Partnership said: “Smoking is the leading cause of premature death in the UK, and two out of every five cigarettes are smoked by someone with a mental health condition. Most of the reduction in life expectancy among people with serious mental illness is attributable to smoking. We have a responsibility to support our patients’ physical health as well as their mental health and going smokefree is a big part of helping is to do this”.
Recent studies show that people with mental health problems are just as likely to want to stop as the general population, and are able to stop when offered evidence-based support.
Clinical staff across Sussex Partnership have been given smoking cessation training so that they have the skills and knowledge to support patients, whether they want to quit smoking permanently or just in the short term during their stay or visit. Support includes Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and intensive behavioural support.
For further information about the event or the trust, visit www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/smokefree
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