Phoenix Scoops Team of the Year Award

The specialist team behind a service which supports hospital patients to give up smoking have scooped a national award.

The Phoenix NHS Stop Smoking Service has been named as The Advisor magazine's Team of the Year for its work in Boston Pilgrim and Lincoln County hospitals with the Stop Before Your Op initiative.

The service, which is part of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), has staff visiting the Outpatients department and hospital wards, including Maternity, to provide individual advice and support to those who may be recovering from illness or surgery, or who may be visiting the hospital for pre-operation assessments.

Patients who stop smoking prior to surgery are more likely to have a shorter stay in hospital, are likely to require less anaesthesia and reduce the risk of developing post-surgery complications, such as a stroke or heart attack. This service is especially helpful to cardiac patients to prevent them from relapsing to smoking again once they are discharged home.

Since the launch of the service in March 2013, referrals from hospitals increased over the year by 400 per cent from 765 to 3,068, with the number of those managing to quit within four weeks also significantly increasing from 251 to 706 (281 per cent).

Marie Farrell, Phoenix Stop Smoking Advisor at LCHS, said: "We are very proud of the Stop Before Your Op service and work closely with our colleagues at both Boston Pilgrim and Lincoln County hospitals to support patients through their quit journey. This service plays a vital role in helping the public to understand the risks associated with smoking and how breaking the habit can contribute to a quicker recovery from illness. We are delighted to be able to share our success nationally and to be recognised by the judges and staff at The Advisor."

Award judge Dr Alex Bobak said: "Every NHS hospital should be doing this, and I can't understand why they aren't as 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."