This winter Gateshead Health is reminding both staff and patients quitting smoking is an important part of staying well and avoiding the need for hospital admission.

The Trust is taking an important step on the road to supporting patients to quit and reduce ward pressures, especially during the colder winter months.

Smoking adds to NHS winter pressures through causing or worsening a range of serious illnesses – including COPD and Cardiovascular disease, flu, pneumonia, and Covid.

Smoking also worsens outcomes after surgery and adds to the chances of a recurrence of cancer.

Support for Inpatients:  All patients admitted are to be asked routinely if they smoke and if so, referred to in-house support from our staff in the Gateshead Stop Smoking Service to manage their dependence while in hospital.

Support for outpatient and visitors: There is also support available to patients in the community looking for support to quit this winter.  Support is available via the Smokefree App or via the Stop Smoking Service.

Support for staff: Across the region, support is available to NHS staff who smoke. This includes free premium access to the Smokefree App, which provides 24/7 quitting advice and support for those with a busy schedule or irregular work patterns.