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South Tees severe mental illness (SMI) pilot wins Healthwatch Middlesbrough Innovation Award

The South Tees Stop Smoking Service recently won the Healthwatch Middlesbrough Community Innovation Award for its smoking cessation service for people with severe mental illness (SMI). The award celebrates those who have gone 'above and beyond' in health and social care. It recognises services that have developed new ways of working to better meet the needs of the communities they support.

The South Tees Stop Smoking service was one of North East North Cumbria Integrated Care Board's (NENC ICB) four early implementer sites for providing enhanced smoking cessation support for people with severe mental illness.

This service included flexible support to people with severe mental illnesses, who had limited or no engagement with the standard 12-week service offered by local authority stop smoking services.

The South Tees Service developed a local SMI pathway, which included a longer period of more flexible support to quit or reduce tobacco use. SMI clients on the South Tees stop smoking pathway were assigned a designated nurse advisor who remained with them throughout the length of their cessation journey to ensure consistency of support. The South Tees service also created a ‘priority pass’ which could be issued to GPs or Community Psychiatric Nurses giving priority access to support.

Over  the last six months, 39 people have been helped by the service and have made positive, sustainable changes around their smoking behaviours. 18 of these clients had tried previously by accessing the standard pathway but were unable to progress towards quitting.

The South Tees Team were up against strong competitors but emerged as winners. Read more about the award here.

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