The NHS Smokefree Pledge, which was signed at St Leonard’s Hospital in Hoxton and supported locally by Hackney Council, has been designed by the Smokefree Action Coalition and is endorsed by NHS England, Public Health England and the Public Health Minister, Steve Brine MP.
Dr Mark Rickets, Chair of City and Hackney CCG, said:“The signing of the Smokefree Pledge expresses a joint commitment from across local health organisations to not only help our patients by providing smoke-free spaces, but to provide necessary support to our own staff to stamp out the habit. Smoking harms health from preconception to old age and tackling it is one of our top local priorities to both prevent people from taking up smoking and provide the help to quit for good.”
Tracey Fletcher, Chief Executive at Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust, said:“Homerton Hospital is delighted to sign the NHS Smokefree Pledge. Smoking is the leading cause of premature death and disease and kills more than 200 people in Hackney every year. We are determined to help as many smokers to quit as possible, improving their health and reducing the smoking burden placed on the NHS.”
Navina Evans, Chief Executive at East London Foundation Trust, said: “People with mental health conditions die on average 10-20 years earlier than the general population and smoking is the single largest factor in this unacceptable difference. By signing the NHS Smokefree Pledge, we are committing to help staff and patients who smoke to quit and reduce this massive health inequality.”
Dr Deborah Colvin, Chair of the GP Confederation, said: “The Pledge commitments are at the heart of our values for the role of general practice and the GP Confederation in preventing ill-health and supporting people to improve their health. The best thing GPs can do for their patients is to help them to stop smoking – it is the one thing that improves health more than anything else. We have an excellent specialist stop smoking service run out of 9 GP ‘Hubs’ in Hackney which helps hundreds of people every year to stop smoking.”
Signatories have also made a commitment to ensure that smokers within the NHS have access to the medication they need to quit.
The cost of smoking to the NHS in Hackney is £9.7 million every year. Around one in five adults (20%) in the borough still smoke, compared to 15% nationally. Across the country, one in four patients in hospital is a smoker.