Action plan to reduce smoking in pregnancy

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Summary of report content

In partnership with Healthwatch North Somerset, The Care Forum carried out an engagement project in Summer 2018. Women who did not stop smoking during pregnancy were recruited to explore why this was and to inform future interventions. This work was commissioned by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group. The priority topics for discussion were: the reasons why women continue to smoke during their pregnancy and when they have young children, and whether there is any advice, information or other influences which might increase their willingness to quit smoking; and to review specific points on the smoking cessation pathway and identify how they could be improved. The report identified that the women who participated smoked during pregnancy because they were not sufficiently persuaded that it was in their interests to stop smoking. Many therefore chose to reduce the quantity of cigarettes they smoked, usually for a short time, following support from a midwife or stop smoking service. Stop smoking support for women after birth was reportedly poor – during this time most participants reported returning to previous levels of smoking. Better engagement with women’s partners or family members, and interventions which are more tailored to the individual needs of the participant may increase their ability to stop smoking over a longer period of time. For the majority of participants, the intervention of the midwife was a positive factor. Feedback about the quality of the stop smoking service support was mixed. The report made recommendations in three areas: improving coordination, particularly the way in which health visitors and other post-pregnancy support can build on the stop smoking support delivered during pregnancy; providing health visitors with clearer guidelines on discussing smoking with women after their pregnancy has ended; and maximising the influence of supportive family members and/or peers so that women have a wider network of support both during and after pregnancy.

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General details

Report title 
Action plan to reduce smoking in pregnancy
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch North Somerset
Date of publication 
Monday, 8 April, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Saturday, 1 June, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 31 August, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Continuity of care
Health promotion
Holistic support
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
The Care Forum
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Community pharmacy
GP practice
Health visitor
Community services 
Community healthcare and nursing services

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.