Smoking cessation transfer of care from hospital to community pharmacy pilot – Oldham in Greater Manchester

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This case study describes how The Royal Oldham Hospital (part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust) started to refer patients, who had quit smoking during their stay as an inpatient, to community pharmacies across Oldham in December 2020 as part of the NHS England and NHS Improvement Pharmacy Integration Programme pilot: NHS Smoking Cessation Service: Transfer of Care to Community Pharmacy from Secondary Care.


The pilot is based on the NICE guidelines on tobacco uptake, quitting and dependence, referenced in the NHS Long Term Plan, which establishes the smoking status of all admitted patients followed by brief advice, personalised bedside counselling, timely nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or pharmacotherapy, and follow-up after discharge.

The aim of the referral pathway is to ensure patients’ quit attempts are assisted following discharge with behavioural support and NRT product supply, which we know means that smokers are three times as likely to quit.

The new service creates additional capacity for smoking cessation support and is not a replacement for locally commissioned services which may be initiated in primary care.