WHSCT one year as smoke free Trust

Pictured at Altnagelvin Hospital marking the Western Trust One Year Smokefree Celebrations is: Bottom (l-r) Louise Kitson, Stop Smoking Nurse for Mental Health and June Lynch, Clerical Officer who has successfully stop smoking with the help of the Smoking Cessation Team. Top (l-r) Maura O'Neill, Co-Chair of the Trust's Smokefree Group and Assistant Director of Performance and Service Improvement, Karen Harper Stop Smoking Nurse, Cathy Turner Team Leader Support Services 'Proud to be a Quitter' and Chief Executive Elaine Way CBE.

Pictured at Altnagelvin Hospital marking the Western Trust One Year Smokefree Celebrations is: Bottom (l-r) Louise Kitson, Stop Smoking Nurse for Mental Health and June Lynch, Clerical Officer who has successfully stop smoking with the help of the Smoking Cessation Team. Top (l-r) Maura O'Neill, Co-Chair of the Trust's Smokefree Group and Assistant Director of Performance and Service Improvement, Karen Harper Stop Smoking Nurse, Cathy Turner Team Leader Support Services 'Proud to be a Quitter' and Chief Executive Elaine Way CBE.

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The Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) celebrated its one year anniversary as a smoke-free health trust on Wednesday.

Overall the smoke-free policy has received widespread support from staff, patients, service users and the public. The WHSCT has carried out audits and surveys to help determine the effectiveness of the smoke-free policy. Feedback has been very positive with 92% of patients supporting the policy.

WHSCT Chief Executive Elaine Way, CBE said: “We are extremely proud to have reached this key milestone of being one year smoke-free. As the first Trust in Northern Ireland to introduce a Smokefree environment across all our health care facilities, it is wonderful to see the high rate of compliance and support we have received from right across Northern Ireland.

“As a health and social care service we have an important role as an example and advocate for this environmental change. Our patients, management and staff are to be commended for their tremendous efforts throughout the challenges that they have faced and continue to face in reaching a Smokefree environment.”

This year’s No Smoking Day (March 11) theme was ‘Proud to be a Quitter’. Since the WHSCT began its smoke-free future in March 2014, 1,800 people have availed of the support and advice from the WHSCT’s Smoking Cessation Team. Approximately 1,400 people have set a quit date and almost 70% are ‘Proud to be Quitters’ at four weeks.