The Advisor Team of the Year Awards 2016

Smokefree West Sussex (back row standing, left to right): Gus Ferguson, Shohidul Islam, Angela Mariner, Jane Holden, Glen Thorne, Lesley Berry, David Etter, Caroline Staddon, Beccy Cooper, Heather Clayton, Emma Harmes and Rebecca Robb; (front row kneeling, left to right): Becky Bunyan, Becca Ellis, Sam Wright and Damian Fearns

Winners: Smokefree West Sussex

Although there has been a national decline in people accessing Stop Smoking Services, this year’s winner, Smokefree West Sussex, has over-achieved against targets set for the service, increasing the number of four-week quitters by an impressive 56 per cent, from 589 in 2014/15 to 920 this year.

The team has achieved such impressive results by working in partnership with the NHS, the local authority and the fire service, developing innovative approaches to contacting hard-to-reach groups and targeting high prevalence areas of the county.

The service’s mobile unit has been out and about delivering interventions to smokers in a variety of locations, including town centres and industrial estates, capturing smokers who would not normally access conventional clinics.

The mobile unit has enabled the service to support events run by other NHS partners, the local fire service and notably local trading standards officers, who brought along Scamp the spaniel, one of their tobacco ‘sniffer dogs’, to promote awareness surrounding illicit tobacco and under-age sales.

The team has also focused on interventions with the black and minority ethnic population, including one scheme focused on local mini-cab offices to target male south Asian smokers.

Clinics were held on the days when drivers picked up their worksheets and paid the weekly rent. The controller sent out radio messages to drivers letting them know when the advisor would be around and sent text messages to the drivers’ work phones as a reminder. The advisor was specially selected as an Urdu-speaking Muslim man to maximise impact and understanding.

This project is expanding into other local businesses and has successfully achieved 108 four-week quitters in 2015/16, which is a fantastic achievement in a hard-to-reach client group which the service had been trying to engage with for a long time.

The team has focused on offering tailormade programmes in a variety of settings, ranging from hospitals to community venues, and are always looking at ways to improve service delivery and meet the needs of individuals wanting to stop smoking.

It has set up an effective referral pathway where clients are contacted within 48 hours of referral and an appointment offered within a two-week timeframe.

All advisors will see clients for as long as they need to be seen and will offer one-to-one or group appointments and home visits for those can’t attend a community venue.

Jo Glasscock praised the team for its partnership working and ‘great engagement’ with target groups, and Fiona Dobbie was impressed with its ‘innovative approaches to engaging with hard-to-reach groups’ and ‘good quit rates’.