Patient Story

Preventing ill health is becoming more and more important across our NHS, as we work to improve the lives of the people we serve – now and in the future. We also know that smoking has a significant impact on the health of whole families.

In our maternity services, we know that smoking can cause serious health problems for mothers and babies, including miscarriage, premature birth, low birthweight of the baby, stillbirth and increased risk of sudden infant death.

Stopping smoking immediately helps to reduce health risks and the development of preventable diseases during pregnancy and – in the longer term – for the whole family.

How we’re helping people to quit smoking here at Sherwood

In England, the current rate of smoking at the time of birth is 8.8%. At Sherwood Forest Hospitals, it is much higher at 14.12%.

Our Phoenix Team is part of the nationally-recognised maternity tobacco dependence treatment service.

The service recognises that smoking is a nicotine addiction and helps improve the health and wellbeing of families by supporting parents to give up during pregnancy – and help them to remain smoke free beyond birth.

Their support is tailored to each individual and is completely free to them, with people able to refer themselves or accept a referral from a health professional – such as one of our midwives or doctors.

The service can also offer financial incentives to further encourage people to overcome their addiction.

Since the scheme launched here at Sherwood, the team has helped over 200 families to quit smoking – including families like Fiona, Rick and baby Charlie from Warsop.

Fiona and Rick were each smoking at least 20 cigarettes a day before they quit. Now they’re living a happy, healthier life with Charlie – and are even putting the money they have saved towards planning their wedding later this year. After a successful trial, Sherwood Forest Hospitals has made the Phoenix Team a permanent part of its maternity services from 2024, meaning more families will benefit from the invaluable support they can offer.