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Health Education England boosts resources to support quitting smoking

24 December 2020

Health Education England is broadening and expanding its range of resources to help NHS staff help others to stop smoking.

The latest guidance is contained within the newly-updated Physical Health Competency Framework for mental health and learning disability settings.

The framework describes the core and role-specific skills staff need in order to help service users – both in-patients and out-patients - understand the risks of smoking and the benefits of stopping, and to refer them successfully to smoking cessation services.

Patients who improve their physical health, for example by stopping smoking, are known to experience better outcomes with regards to their mental health.

The framework, which aims to help all mental health and learning disability professionals and teams, as well as recruiters, line managers, educators and training providers, can be found here:-  https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/mental-health/resources

HEE already supports a range of training materials related to smoking which are accessible through the e-Learning for Healthcare Hub (e-LfH), and more are due to come online early in the new year.

The Population Wellbeing Portal (https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/population-wellbeing-portal/) signposts to additional preventative resources, and the programme on smoking was reviewed and updated this year by Public Health England’s smoking lead:- : https://portal.e-lfh.org.uk/Component/Details/544175

Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, Health Education England, said:- “We work with a number of partners to build on this important area of work, and have made some significant progress.

“Together, HEE and NHSE/I’s promotion of smoking cessation skills has enabled the workforce to reach the point where, working with service users and their loved ones, they have been able to ensure in recent years that in-patient services are smoke-free.”

 A smoke-free in-patient environment helps protect the health of staff and safeguards outcomes and recovery for patients.

Dr Neil Ralph, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning, Health Education England, said: “Our online learning programmes are the ideal vehicle to deliver training on helping others stop smoking – they’re freely accessible and available around the clock to enable learners to access the resources at a time convenient to them.

 “The content is regularly updated and we will be adding to these resources in the near future.”