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Lothian pharmacies off cessation target

A strategy by NHS Lothian to move much of its smoking cessation services into pharmacies is well behind schedule

A strategy by NHS Lothian - one of the 15 regions of NHS Scotland - to move much of its region's smoking cessation services into pharmacies is well behind schedule on its targets, according to a presentation to the NHS Lothian board members by lead officers Mike Massarro-Mallinson and Fiona Hume.

Massarro-Mallinson and Hume explained that while it had been anticipated that pharmacies would deliver 40 per cent of the target, to date they have only contributed 8 per cent of successful outcomes achieved. 

This is despite a series of measures being outlined to make it happen, such as one-to-one help for quitters who are a month into kicking their habit, a significant advertising campaign signposting that the pharmacy scheme is underway and a pilot scheme which sees city chemists offer impromptu check-ups for harassed commuters.

Following these recent findings, the Lothian health board has vowed to provide extra training to community pharmacy staff in a bid to improve their skills in smoking cessation support and heed NHS Scotland's recent call to local health chiefs to obtain 11,000 successful quitters by 2011.

Despite the poor return from pharmacies however, 44 per cent more people attempted to stop smoking in the Lothians with the help of medics last year than the figures for 2007 reveal.

22nd June 2009

From: Healthcare

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