Musgrove Park Hospital celebrates a fall in the number of mothers smoking during pregnancy - 04 March 2015

Musgrove Park Hospital celebrates a fall in the number of mothers smoking during pregnancy - 04 March 2015

The latest smoking at time of delivery (SATOD) figures have been released by the South West Commissioning Support Unit (CSU), and Musgrove Park Hospital has seen a quarter by quarter decrease in the number of women smoking while pregnant.

The latest regional smoking during pregnancy figures shows a decrease from 17.0% in January – March 2014 to 13.8% in October – December 2014. 

Debra Young, Head of Midwifery, said: “It is fantastic news that we are starting to see a decline in the number of women smoking during pregnancy, and I believe that part of this success is down to the work we are doing to support women to quit smoking through our continued investment into a specialise smoking cessation role here at the hospital, rather than being attributable to any single intervention like the voucher scheme, which rewards those women who successfully quit with vouchers that can be spent in popular retail outlets.

“We believe that having that role is the key determinant at play here, and the fact that we are fortunate enough to have a really motivated, enthusiastic emerging leader in this post (Hayley Stone) to really develop and improve our work in helping women who smoke while pregnant to quit.”

Stewart Brock, Public Health Specialist at Somerset County Council, said; “This is all tremendously encouraging and a testament to all the effort and hard work across the system in both midwifery and stop smoking services.  I believe we are now the lowest recorded rates of smoking in pregnancy in Somerset that we have ever seen.  But we must not rest on our laurels – we are only part way through the journey. If we lose focus, then the rates could easily start to rise again, rather than continuing to fall.

“Behind the figures are the real stories. About 50 more babies per yearly quarter are now born smoke free, compared with where we were a few years ago. Those babies have a healthier start to life, and we are almost certainly preventing miscarriages and premature births through the success of this programme.”Musgrove Park Hospital Celebrates A Fall In The Number Of Mothers Smoking During Pregnancy

Smoking Cessation Midwife, Hayley Stone was recruited last year to focus on helping and supporting women who smoke during pregnancy to cut down or quit; and has ensured that practices known to have a positive impact in terms of women giving up smoking in pregnancy, like carbon monoxide monitoring at booking, are embedded and that the midwives that are doing this are fully engaged and understand why it is so important.

With lots of hard work, Hayley has made significant contributions in helping the Smokefree team at Musgrove challenge the wider culture of ‘turning a blind eye’ to smoking. In specific the team and Hayley have introduced a speaker system that uses children’s voices to re-inforce smoking messages that can be activated when or if anyone is seen to light up. It has been hugely effective and is now due to launch across all other entrances on site by the beginning of April.

Lucy Rexworthy, Smokefree lead for the hospital, is positive about the potential of the system across all entrances. She said: “What is so great about the next stages of rolling this out across all entrances is that patients and visitors will also have the opportunity to activate the system. We know that there is a long way to go in changing the culture of smoking on site but with the help of staff, patients and visitors I am positive that we can do it.”

In addition to the new developments, this next phase of systems will use voice recordings from not only a selection of local school children aged between 5-16 but also adults aged 25-80 and it is hoped that this will appeal to a wider range of people.