The Staff smOking Project

Project Details


Smoking causes many long term health problems including cancer, lung disease and heart disease. The number of people who smoke has been decreasing but the number of smokers in Portsmouth is higher than average, with around one in five people being smokers. Smoking is a particular problem in the NHS. It costs the NHS more than £200 million per year because of sick days, smoking breaks and the cost of treatment for health problems caused by smoking. Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trusts (PHT) has, therefore, decided to become ‘smoke free’ from January 2019 so that smoking will no longer be possible anywhere on the site.
There is limited evidence on what is most effective in supporting hospital staff to stop smoking. Various ways of supporting people have been tried in other NHS trusts which include, for example, providing vouchers for nicotine replacement therapy or running drop-in clinics for staff but it is not clear how best to help NHS staff to stop smoking. This study aims to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of a novel approach, a stop smoking programme that includes a combination of one-to-one sessions together with group meetings and nicotine replacement patches (optional).
Following ethical approval, we aim to recruit around 50 staff who currently smoke and randomly assign them to either this programme or to standard care which includes signposting to community stop smoking services and brief advice. The programme is based on one-to-one and group sessions that have been developed by leading psychologists and previously tested but not used in combination. Group sessions will take place weekly with every 4th session being a one-to one session for a total of 9 group and 4 one-to-one sessions. Participants will complete a set of questionnaires at baseline, 6 weeks and 12 weeks and will take part in a focus group to discuss their experiences and opinions on the programme. After 6 months, we will compare the numbers who successfully quit smoking and assess the cost effectiveness of the programme. Those who were initially allocated to standard care will then be offered to take part in the programme for 6 months.

The overall aim of this study is to collect and collate comprehensive data on acceptability, demand, implementation, adaptation, integration, and preliminary measures of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. This will increase understanding of the impact of smoking cessation interventions as well as the direct cost savings for PHT in the short-, medium- and long-term.
Conducting this trial will also support the establishment of closer working relationships with the Portsmouth Hospitals Trust and an effective interdisciplinary, inter-organisational research team to explore future opportunities in this area. Publications in peer-reviewed journals resulting from the study will stimulate wider interest in the design of smoking cessation interventions policies at multiple hospital trusts in the UK, as well as in the research community and the final outcome will be the design of a large scale trial to be submitted for external funding.
Effective start/end date1/08/1831/07/19


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