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Health & Wellbeing

Crawley still has one of highest rates of smokers

Smokers are being urged to break their unhealthy relationship with cigarettes as part of the national Stoptober campaign.

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New figures show that although smoking rates in West Sussex remain low, more than one in four (27.6%) of the county’s manual workers are current smokers.

An estimated 87,000 adults in the county are smokers, according to statistics revealed by West Sussex County Council’s Public Health team.

Across the county, Adur, Crawley and Worthing have the highest local rates of smoking, while Horsham has the lowest.

Stoptober is a national campaign which has so far supported more than 1.9 million people in England on their journey to quit. This year Stoptober is encouraging smokers to ‘split up’ with smoking.

It is based on the insight that people are five times more likely to quit for good if they can stop smoking for 28-days.

The County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, Amanda Jupp, said:

“The evidence shows that people are more likely to stop smoking for good if they have professional support rather than going it alone. Free advice is available from trained stop smoking advisors across West Sussex which makes Stoptober the perfect time to kick the habit, even if you have tried before.

“The West Sussex Wellbeing Website has lots of useful advice as well as details of venues that provide support to help people who want to ‘break-up’ with smoking.”

To find your nearest GP surgery, pharmacy or wellbeing team offering support to stop smoking, visit www.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk/smokingservices

To access a range of free self-serve stop smoking tools, visit the Stoptober website at www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/quit-smoking/stoptober

Community

Local volunteers drive GPs to essential home visits in Crawley

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Image: Dr Phoebe Danes and volunteer Chris Ball.

Local volunteers have stepped up to help drive clinicians to home visits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative was launched by local GP federation Alliance for Better Care, who have rented black cabs to provide essential transport for clinicians attending patients’ homes. 

The taxis, which have been adapted to make them easier to clean, are driven by volunteer drivers who have come forward via various community Facebook groups.

Thanks to the layout of the cab, drivers are completely separated from the clinician who is also afforded extra space in the cab to put on PPE and write up notes. 

Matt Cullis, practice manager at Leacroft Medical Practice said:

“Our surgery is still open to treat patients, however, home visits have become particularly important for those who are shielding and not wanting to leave their homes. This service saves us time and allows our doctors to travel to appointments in an environment that can be easily cleaned and has room to put on PPE.”

Alliance for Better Care is the GP federation for Crawley, Horsham, Mid-Sussex and East Surrey and so far the project has been rolled out at Leacroft Surgery in Crawley and throughout Burgess Hill, with plans to extend it to East Grinstead and Horley in the coming weeks.

Katherine Saunders, ABC chief executive said:

“We have been overwhelmed with the number of volunteers who have come forward and we’d like to thank them all for offering to support this service. We are, of course, committed to protecting both our volunteers and our clinicians. We insure drivers and carry out all necessary checks while also providing PPE. This is a valuable resource for our clinicians, and increases our capacity to reach more patients.”

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