Now in their third year, The Advisor Awards have become a firm fixture on the stop smoking calendar. Mark Gould looks at what this year’s winners did to deserve their accolades.
This year Gloucestershire NHS Stop Smoking Service achieved the double in The Advisor Awards, scooping both the team award, for their work in cutting smoking among pregnant women, and the individual award, which recognised the tenacious work of two advisors who ‘never gave up on their clients’.
The awards, now in their third year, honour innovation, leadership and ingenuity. The judges were particularly impressed with the way candidates tackled some of the toughest client groups, such as pregnant women, prisoners and those with mental health problems; and difficult areas, including litter from smoking and promotion of e-cigarettes.
The judges commended the way Debbie Crebbin and Cindy Ferneyhough, who shared the individual award, responded to the challenge of competition from no less than four e-cigarette sellers within 100 metres of their Quit Stop Shop.
Judge, GP and medical advisor to The Advisor, Dr Alex Bobak says the standard of entries was impressive but Gloucester ‘really did sweep the board’. ‘Cindy and Debbie really do work together as a unit so we really felt they deserved to be nominated for the individual awards,’ he says. ‘And the team working with pregnant women really are a role model for how to do it. They are integrating with the antenatal team and developing good relations with doctors and midwives. Their model is being rolled out in other parts of the NHS, and I would advise people to pick their brains about how to do it.’