‘Stop Before Your Op'

36 - Stop before the opThe Phoenix Team, part of Lincolnshire Community Health Service NHS Trust, developed the ‘Stop Before Your Op ’ initiative to encourage patients to stop smoking prior to surgery or treatment. Stop Before Your Op was not only intended to increase referrals into the service but also to raise people’s awareness of smoking-related diseases and help people to stop smoking.

‘Stop before Your Op’ was first launched in Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital in March 2013. As a result of the project referrals rose dramatically from just 13 in February to 105 in March and 115 in April. The success of this campaign has been unbelievable, and the benefits are huge: faster recovery rates, better and faster wound healing time, fewer cancellations of operations and faster discharge. It’s a cheap and cheerful but hugely effective intervention.

The aim of the ‘Stop Before Your Op’ project was to further develop key elements of the tobacco control programme in order to help meet our targets and provide services that are particularly geared to tackling health inequalities. Smoking is one of the most significant contributing factors to life expectancy, health inequalities and ill health – particularly cancer, coronary heart disease, respiratory disease and smoking related complications following surgery.

This project contributes to the Governments national ambitions within its Tobacco Control Plan for England (March 2011):
  • To reduce the adult (aged 18 or over) smoking prevalence in England to 18.5% or less, by end of 2015.
  • To reduce rates of regular smoking among 15 year olds in England to 12% or less, by end of 2015.
  • To reduce rates of smoking throughout pregnancy to 11% or less, by the end of 2015 (measured at time of giving birth).
The Stop Before Your Op project is now well established in both Pilgrim Hospital, Boston and Lincoln County Hospital , Lincoln and through partnership working has helped many people to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

Phoenix won an award in 2014 for this work through ‘The Advisor Awards’ and this prompted healthcare professionals to speak out about the project, Dr Alex Bobak was so impressed he said every hospital needs a Stop Before Your Op initiative.

Marie Farrell, front of picture, is our dedicated Lead Specialist for this project and has many innovations to help develop this work further in 2015 .

You can find out more about the Phoenix Stop Smoking service on the Lincolnshire Community Health Services website.
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