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MDHB’s Ward 21 goes smoke free on Monday

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After months of preparation MidCentral District Health Board’s acute mental health inpatient unit (Ward 21) is going smoke free from Monday, which brings it in line with all of the hospital’s inpatient wards. That means the whole of MDHB’s premises will b

​MDHB has taken a service-wide approach over a number of months to ensure the mental health service as a whole was prepared to support smokers (service users and staff) to quit, in line with our commitment that Ward 21 be smoke free by 16 March.

This has included working with current service users and their family/whanau in the community to encourage them to quit by:

  • Developing an admission management plan should they require an admission in the future 
  • Completing a ‘Smoke free Adult Screening and Referral form’ and clinical staff integrating this process into routine clinical practice for service users
  • Educating service users and family/whanau on the benefits of quitting
  • Providing Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products to support quitting, and
  • Providing information on pamphlets
The purpose of the inpatient environment becoming smoke free is to:

1. Decrease the incidence of smoking by service users and subsequently improve their wellness and wellbeing by:

  • Reducing harm from tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco for non smokers
  • Promoting healthy lifestyles, promoting & supporting smoking cessation
  • Developing smoking cessation programmes 


2. Promote a healthy workplaces for staff by:

  • Provision of smoking support
  • Reducing exposure to second-hand smoke

All mental health staff have undergone training in how to assist and support inpatients, and staff to quit, including the provision of stop smoking packs for staff.

In the build-up to going smoke free, there have been posters displayed in all MH clinical/community settings and there have been daily count-down posters on display throughout services.  As well, all service providers have been advised of the inpatient ward becoming smoke free; inpatient information packs have been updated; and at the weekly inpatient service users meeting – smoke free implementation has been discussed.

Where possible, patients will be provided NRT prior to admission.  During an inpatient stay patches, gum, lozenges and inhalers will be provided on, and during, the admission; and patients will be encouraged to keep occupied and Occupational Therapy staff are developing programmes to assist with this.
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945

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