Stop smoking team helping OTs at The Dales

(Left to right) Occupational therapist Richard Bates, Michael Cunningham and stop smoking adviser Sue Jones
(Left to right) Occupational therapist Richard Bates, Michael Cunningham and stop smoking adviser Sue Jones

Calderdale specialist NHS stop smoking service have been encouraging occupational therapists at The Dales in Halifax to deliver brief interventions to help service users on the wards stop smoking.

To support the training the stop smoking team felt it would be helpful for the staff to hear about stopping smoking from the viewpoint of a service user and invited Michael to talk about his experiences.

Michael had been a heavy smoker and made a number of earlier attempts to stop smoking. He has now been completely smoke free for over 3 months after being encouraged to consider making another quit attempt by OT Richard Bates. Since he decided to take the step Michael has been attending one of the weekly stop smoking sessions in Calderdale, which provide behavioural support and advice regarding stop smoking medications. In the past Michael had been given support in a one to one appointment, but this time it was suggested that he tried quitting with others in a group setting.

Speaking about the service, Michael said, “I found the group sessions very supportive and encouraging. As each week has gone by it’s been more helpful for me to come to a group than a one to one. You can help other people and they can help you. When somebody quits it also strengthens your own aim to reach goal”.

Kath Nichols, OT team leader, said, “I invited the stop smoking team along as I thought all the OTs at The Dales could benefit from brief intervention training to help the people we care for. Listening to Michael’s experiences reinforced the benefits of staff offering brief advice to stop smoking and has helped to increase staff confidence in broaching the subject with service users.”

Offering brief advice to stop smoking is one of the single most cost effective and clinically preventative actions a healthcare professional can take. The aim is to encourage smokers to think about quitting and enable them to access specialist support when they are ready.

If you work for the Trust and would like to access this training contact Calderdale Specialist NHS Stop Smoking Service on 01422 281505. Alternatively you work you can complete the new e-learning package via the Trust’s intranet using the normal login details and then searching for smoking cessation.

If you live in Calderdale and would like to stop smoking contact the Calderdale Specialist NHS Stop Smoking Service, which offers free help and support for smokers who want to quit and help more than 1,500 people give up every year.

The service offers free sessions at convenient times in the Calderdale area, practical advice and the right medication to help you stop smoking, and stay stopped. Specialist help is also available for pregnant women and their family, as well as support for businesses that want to help employees to go smokefree.

Contact the Calderdale Specialist NHS stop smoking service on 01422 281505 or email

Stop smoking team helping OTs at The Dales

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