To celebrate No Smoking Day and mark the final push towards going smokefree, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has signed the NHS Smokefree Pledge.
From the end of March, Northumbria Healthcare is going to be completely smokefree, meaning that smoking will not be permitted in any of its hospitals, community sites or grounds across Northumberland and North Tyneside.
It shows the trust’s support for a smokefree NHS and its commitment to helping smokers (staff and patients) quit, by creating a smokefree environment.
Northumbria Healthcare will be the first acute trust in the North East to go truly smokefree and is leading the way in the region’s NHS.
Nationally, NHS England has committed hospitals and mental-health services to become truly smokefree by 2019.
The pledge was signed by the trust’s chairman Alan Richardson, chief executive Jim Mackey and executive medical director Jeremy Rushmer, together with Judith Stonebridge, smokefree lead and public health consultant.
Mr Mackey said: “We’re delighted to be a pioneering trust in this respect and sign the NHS Smokefree Pledge to further demonstrate our commitment to providing a safe environment for our staff and patients that promotes health, and reduces harm from exposure to second-hand smoke.”
The pledge has been developed by the Smokefree Action Coalition and is endorsed by Steve Brine MP, the public health minister, Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, and other health leaders.
Smoking is the leading cause of premature death and disease, and kills 79,000 people every year. The cost of smoking to the NHS in England is £2.5billion every year. No Smoking Day was last Wednesday.