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Smoking Cessation Advance Service - Referral from Secondary Care into Community Pharmacy

This Advanced Service, commissioned nationally as part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework, follows on from the Smoking Cessation Transfer of Care pilots which commenced in November 2020.

In line with commitments outlined in Chapter 2 of the NHS Long Term Plan to make England a smoke-free society, patients admitted to an acute NHS trust with an established Tobacco Dependency service will be offered smoking cessation support during their admission. This is based on the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation (OMSC), currently used in 120 hospitals in Canada, which identifies the smoking status of all admitted patients and offers evidence-based smoking cessation support for 12 weeks. A key stage of the OMSC is improved follow up after patient discharge.

The Smoking Cessation Advanced Service (SCAS) in community pharmacy will allow NHS trusts to refer patients to a pharmacy of their choice so they can receive continuing treatment, advice and support with their attempt to quit smoking when they are discharged. The SCAS connects acute NHS trusts with primary care by using the accessible network and skills available within community pharmacies that have registered to deliver the service.

Aim of the Service

The SCAS aims to address the gap in the handover between secondary care and primary care transferring the care and creating additional smoking cessation capacity in primary care.

The SCAS aims to reduce morbidity and mortality from smoking and to reduce health inequalities associated with higher rates of smoking.

The objective of the service is to ensure patients referred by NHS trusts to community pharmacy receive a consistent and effective offer, in line with NICE Guidelines NG209 and the OMSC.  

What the service will provide

This service must be provided by an appropriately trained pharmacist.

The SCAS offers patients ongoing consultations that will include the provision of behavioural support, as well as the supply of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).

How patients access the service

Only patients who have been referred during their discharge from an acute NHS trust are eligible to receive advice and treatment under this service.

An electronic transfer of data to support the referral will be sent from the NHS trust to a community pharmacy of the patient’s choice that is registered for this Advanced Service.

Patients who wish to consult another healthcare provider for smoking cessation support when they are discharged are still free to do so. Patients being referred through this pathway have already agreed to be referred to community pharmacy.

The existing NHS England Smoking Cessation Referral from Secondary Care into Community Pharmacy Pilot has been extended to run from 14 September 2020 to 31 January 2022.  These pilot pharmacies are expected to transition into the SCAS through the registration process for all pharmacies.

Guidance on consultations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, contractors are requested to follow the current guidance from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) from November 2020 and updated in January 2021, as on the NCSCT website, until the guidance changes.

Pharmacies providing this service will be expected to follow the guidance available from the NCSCT and CPPE on remote consultations.

Registration for the Smoking Cessation Advanced Service

Pharmacies that have previously registered for the pilots in Oldham and Lambeth and Southwark will need to register for the advanced service. There will be no automatic transfer from the pilot to the Advanced Service.

Draft service level agreement and service specifications (484KB)

The service level agreements and service specification for the pilot remain available below:

Greater Manchester (Word: 156KB)Southwark and Lambeth (Word: 154KB)Toolkit for pharmacy staff (Word: 264KB)