Supporting the NHS Long Term Plan: An evaluation of the implementation and impact of NHS-funded tobacco dependence services

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In 2019, 14.1% of adults in the UK smoked, and over 500,000 hospital admissions were due to smoking in 2020. The NHS Long Term Plan – a government policy – aimed to tackle smoking through delivering a new service to support smokers to quit, in three settings: acute hospital, mental health inpatients and maternity services. The government wanted to provide smokers who are admitted to any of these settings in England access to a new ‘stop smoking service’ that includes both behavioural support and medication to help them to quit.

Our project aims to investigate how this new service is delivered, and if it is effective. We will achieve this through four studies in five regions in England:

Interviewing those who design, fund, and provide the service
Surveying and interviewing NHS staff about their experiences of providing this service. We will also interview service users who have been offered the new service to understand their opinions and experiences of it.
Using hospital records to find out the number of smokers who have been offered and used the service, and how effective the new service is based on the number of people quitting smoking.
Using hospital records and other data to calculate the costs of providing the service and find out whether it provides value in helping people who smoke.
The findings from this study will support NHS Trusts by giving information how to improve this stop smoking service for the future from the perspectives of service users, healthcare professionals, and others. We aim to write several articles which will be shared widely; for example, with healthcare professionals, policymakers, researchers, and members of the public.

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