Bernadette Campbell and Karyn McWilliam from NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde South Sector Smokefree Team, with Pauline Cameron of the Patient Information Centre.

Team commended – NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde South Sector Smokefree Community Services

The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde South Sector Smokefree Community Services team are working in partnership with the Patient Information Centre (PIC) at the Victoria Ambulatory Care Hospital to offer a drop-in service to adult smokers who want to quit and need intensive support, but who cannot access the local stop smoking support groups.

As well as ensuring improved access for those patients who may not be able to attend other sessions, this partnership allows the health improvement practitioners from both services to make the most of face-to-face contact to explore other aspects of the patient’s lifestyle and life circumstances that may impact on their health and their aim to quit smoking.

Any patient when in discussion with PIC staff who raises the issue of stopping smoking is told about the drop in service and referred on when appropriate. PIC staff will welcome all clients attending the drop in and assist them in completing paperwork, identifying any literacy or accessibility needs, thus saving time for the advisor enabling them to focus on smoking issues.

This approach enables clients to discuss at greater length with the advisor, in a non-time pressured setting, lifestyle, life circumstance and disease-specific issues which may be impacting on their health and ability to quit smoking.  PIC staff help clients make informed decisions about their health and advise them on the steps that they can take to address them, through signposting and referring on to local services.

Analysis revealed that more men and more clients classed as permanently sick or disabled were attending the drop in clinic. And some 61per cent of all clients attending the drop in clinic were from the most deprived areas. From April 2011 until December 2012, 81 clients set a quit date, and 57 per cent were successful.

The success of the drop in clinic has led to the establishment of a second clinic at another location, and two more clinics are planned.

Examples of the clients helped so far include a young man, possibly the youngest person in Scotland to have a heart attack, who was referred to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde South Sector Smokefree Community Service's new drop in clinic partnership following a lapsed quit attempt.  The clinic directed him to other services including higher education, employment and benefit advice.  He was encouraged to undertake training to become a health walk leader and he volunteers at a drop in centre. He has also applied for a college course in physiotherapy and feels his confidence has been boosted as a result of quitting.

Another example is a man who had had a severe stroke, was living in his own home and attending the day hospital at the Victoria Ambulatory Care Hospital for ongoing therapy on a daily basis.  Wheelchair-bound and with a speech impairment, he had tried to stop smoking immediately after his stroke on his own but had relapsed.  Staff at the day hospital approached the PIC to find out what support could be accessed. The centre arranged for the client’s day hospital visits to be timetabled around when the drop in service was open, so the client could attend the drop in service when he was already at the hospital. PIC staff were able to help the man, who was mainly housebound, to access support to help him at home.  He also received advice and support regarding his adult son who has issues with mental health, epilepsy, and addiction.