Why is the Trust smoke free?
People with mental health problems are more likely to smoke, and to smoke more heavily, than the general population. This is one of the reasons that they tend to have poorer physical health and a lower life expectancy. We want to do all we can to tackle the smoking culture in mental health care. We do this by supporting our patients and staff to quit or reduce their smoking and enjoy the best possible health. The benefits of not smoking go much further than improved physical health. We know that many patients spend a significant proportion of their income on tobacco products too.
Nursing staff on our inpatient wards can spend a lot of time managing patients smoking related activities. We would like this time to be spent on more therapeutic interventions.
Our decision is also supported by recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
NICE raise the need for all NHS premises to become completely smoke free.
What does being smokefree mean
Smoke free means that patients, carers, staff and other visitors to Trust premises are not allowed to smoke on any of our sites.
This includes all wards, buildings, grounds and vehicles. There are no longer designated areas where smoking is allowed.
If you smoke, we will support you to make a quit attempt, or to temporarily abstain whilst in hospital.
Do you stop people smoking while they are receiving care in hospital?
The Trust do not be preventing patients from smoking but we do prohibit smoking on our premises.
Those patients who are able to leave Trust premises are able to go off site and smoke.
However, if you are detained under the Mental Health Act this might not always be possible. In these circumstances staff will offer a range of nicotine replacement therapy to support you to abstain from smoking.
How do you support patients who are unable to smoke?
All patients will be asked about their smoking habits when they are admitted to hospital. Whilst some patients may want to make a quit attempt, there will be others who don't but who are required to briefly abstain from smoking. This might be for a number of reasons such as being legally detained in hospital.
We recognise that stopping smoking can be very difficult. We want to do all we can to manage withdrawal effects.
All inpatients who are making quit attempts, or who are unable to go and smoke, will be offered Nicotine replacement and/or other support to help them to manage this through our QUIT programme. We know that these measures significantly increase the chances of people quitting smoking, or managing to abstain whilst in hospital.
How are you ensuring that patients don't smoke on LPFT sites?
Wherever possible patients are advised that smoking is not permitted on our premises. Patients are offered support to temporarily abstain or quit. This will include Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and behavioural support.
If a patient attempts to smoke on Trust premises they will be reminded of our policy and asked to refrain. We appreciate that some patients might find it difficult to stay smoke free. In such circumstances ward staff will review their care plan and consider how best to support the individual not to smoke on Trust premises.
We do allow the use of e-cigarettes in outdoor areas.
What about staff and visitors?
Respecting our smoke free premises applies to everybody, including visitors, contractors and our staff.
Staff will also be supported to make a quit attempt or will have to leave Trust premises if they want to smoke.
They will only be able to go off site to smoke during unpaid breaks.
What about e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that produce vapour. Devices come in many forms, sometimes resembling cigarettes, but others resemble pens or gadgets. Some products are disposable whilst others are rechargeable and refillable via cartridges or liquids.
E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco but usually deliver nicotine. The use of vapour means that the user is not exposed to all of the poisonous gases that are in tobacco smoke.
There are arguments both for and against e-cigarettes. Based on the best evidence currently available, as well as feedback from our staff and patients, the Trust will allow the use of e-cigarettes within outdoor areas.
There may be circumstances when it is unsafe for a service user to have an e-cigarette.Save This will be managed on an individual basis by offering alternatives such as nicotine replacement.
Our smokefree premises policy also allows visitors and staff to use e-cigarettes in outdoor areas.
We respectfully ask that the use of e-cigarettes is kept away from entrances and exits to all buildings.
What about community patients?
Patients in the community can also be supported by community based smoking cessation services.
Does the smokefree premises apply to me being visited at home by LPFT staff?
As an employer we have a duty to take reasonable care to protect the health, safety and welfare of our staff. The trust is required by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure employees and others are not put at risk.
How to protect staff from exposure to secondhand smoke:
- Avoid smoking inside your house for at least one hour before the healthcare worker is due to arrive.
- Open windows and doors to ventilate the room where the visit will take place.
- Do not smoke or let anyone else in the house smoke whilst the visit is taking place.