Looking after ourselves means better care for our patients. That’s why, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, The North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (NENC ICS) has received funding to support the smokers throughout the Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust workforce and across the region to quit for good.

Hundreds of employees across the region are struggling with tobacco dependency and the shocking truth is that one in two smokers will die prematurely because of their dependency. The NHS Staff Tobacco Dependency pilot is available to NHS staff working in Foundation Trusts across our region. This means you can now access a 12 week supply of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or a refillable e-cigarette package, completely free of charge.

You will also be offered the opportunity to access a 12 week, one-to-one support programme with a dedicated stop smoking advisor. If you struggle with a busy schedule or irregular work patterns, free premium access to the Smokefree App will also be provided, enabling you to access 24/7 quitting advice and support at your fingertips.

Dr Ruth Sharrock, Respiratory Consultant and NENC ICS clinical lead for tobacco dependency and Consultant Respiratory Physician here at Gateshead, said: “You work hard for your NHS, so now it’s time to look after your own health. If you smoke, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to stop smoking. Each time you make a quit attempt, you are getting closer to success.

“The benefits of quitting are real. As well as reducing the risk of serious disease, it can make you feel so much better, give you more energy and help you to breathe more easily, even if you’ve smoked for years.

“The free NHS Staff Tobacco Dependency Programme provides our staff who smoke with a choice of products and support options so that you can find a method which works for you. We know that quitting smoking is far from easy, but your work team and wider NHS colleagues are here to support you all the way.”

For further information about the service and to join over 240 Gateshead colleagues who’ve already made a quit attempt through the offer since December 2021, please call 0191 445 8144 or email [email protected].