A service that seeks to support women to stop smoking during their pregnancy is being launched today by University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.
The Smoke Free Pregnancy Service will be delivered by teams working across four sites: Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton; Worthing Hospital; St Richards in Chichester; and Princess Royal, in Haywards Heath.
At UHSussex around 10% of pregnant women smoke each month, and the new service is part of a nationwide drive to reduce smoking to 6% and to reduce still births to 50% by 2025.
Smoking during pregnancy is one of the main reasons for a still birth.
Midwives Caroline Thomas and Juliette Golding are leading the service.
Caroline said: “Juliette and I will be leading on this with a small team of smoke-free advisers who help deliver face to face support.
“There will be intense weekly support, nicotine replacement therapy will be provided and there will on-going support throughout pregnancy.”
Caroline added: “This is all part of the NHS ambition to reduce still birth by 50% by 2025 and smoking is a big contributing factor for still births.
“Similar services have previously been the responsibility of local authorities so this is the first time we have received funding directly to deliver this service. It has been recognised that the best people to deliver this service are in-house maternity teams.”