Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust is going smoke free today (Wednesday 9 March). That means that smoking (which includes cigarettes, pipes or cigars) will not be allowed at University Hospital Lewisham, Queen Elizabeth Hospital or any of the Trust’s community sites.
In partnership with the Trust and Charlton Athletic Community Trust, the Royal Borough of Greenwich offers support to help you quit smoking whether you're a patient in hospital, or a visitor.
The purpose of going smoke free is to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of all patients, visitors and staff who use the Trust’s health services. The move is in keeping with many hospitals and public spaces where smoking is now not permitted either inside or outside on their premises.
Tim Higginson, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “Going smoke free is absolutely the right way forward at our hospitals and community sites. Our role is to care for people at their most vulnerable and our environment should support this. By not allowing smoking on our property we are helping to protect people from the harmful effects of smoking. Smoking is not allowed in many public spaces so I hope everyone will pull together to support this initiative and make our hospitals a better place for patients and staff alike.”
Councillor David Gardner, the Royal Borough of Greenwich Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Public Health, said: “Smoking remains an important public health issue for us, and our campaigns in Greenwich have had considerable success in helping reduce the level of smoking in the borough. We fully support the Trust’s decision to make the Queen Elizabeth site smoke free and encourage any smoker – whether they are a hospital patient or a visitor – who wants to use this as an opportunity to quit, to contact our stop smoking service for free advice and support.”
Dr Tudor Toma, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at the Trust, said: “As a doctor I see the effects of smoking on people every day so I fully support the Trust going smoke free. This will mean that vulnerable patients will not have to breathe in other people’s smoke as they come and go from the. We have a very good stop smoking service available at the hospital and I would encourage everyone who wants to stop smoking to seek their support. People are four times more like to quit if they go through the stop smoking service.”
People who have successfully managed to quit smoking using the Stop Smoking Services speak very highly of the team with one quitter calling it ‘brilliant’. Others say how grateful they are for all the help and support they have received and how they couldn’t have done it without the stop smoking team.
There are lots of ways to get help and advice with stopping smoking:
In person – Pop in to your local pharmacy, or chat with your GP or practice nurse.
Over the phone – call 0800 587 5833
Text – ‘QUIT’ to 60060
Online – www.greenwichstopsmoking.org.uk