"Lack of smoking cessation support"
About: Central Lancashire PCT / Stop smoking service Central Lancashire PCT Stop smoking service
Posted by Unchuffed chuffer (as ),
Having visited a stop smoking service, arranged through my employer, I was given the option of which method I preferred. I chose patches. Went to my local GP practice, and was told they did not take part in any smoking cessation work. Back to my counsellor, and I was advised to join a service through a local supermarket! Went to the supermarket, joined the service, started my course of patches, but without success. Back to the counsellor, to try medication.
Then back to my GP, where I got a lecture on the cost of providing Smoking Cessation services. He only gets £7.50 per patient apparently. I got lectured on patients who leave hospital and then have the nerve to ask their GP for a 'sick note', it should be the hospital who issued notes etc.
Finally, I was told that the PCT would have to provide any services that surgery refused to contract to. Contacted PCT (over 12 months ago), told they would be looking at this. Advised to 'make a complaint', again, given same advice by local Practice Manager at GP clinic. Just contacted PCT again, told they were still considering this. Meantime I'm still smoking, getting stressed (if I allowed myself) by my frustration at lack of services, lack of communication and quite frankly lack of interest.
I know that there are other services apart from medication, but I have tried several. Hypnotherapy, chewing gum, patches, dummy cigarettes and acupuncture. All to no avail. To add insult to injury, I was invited by one of our GP's to attend his acupuncture clinic at our local hospital. I was told I would have to pay £40 for the privilege too. When I explained that I had actually used his service at another clinic, I was left feeling I had not tried hard enough. I can expect this sort of 'opinion' from anyone who has never tried to give up smoking. If it was so easy then why do we need all these services. I do not know if the medication route would work. I would certainly like to at least be allowed to find out for myself.
I am interested in the costs that the NHS have to face, but when it is explained in terms that imply we wont take part because we're not being paid enough, I think I can be forgiven for showing some form of cynicism. So having got this lot partially off my chest, I need to know if anyone has come up against a similar wall and if they have overcome it. If anyone knows how long it takes a PCT to sort this out, please let me and anyone else in the same boat. This includes all the patients in our village, who also want to stop smoking, and know how this nut can be cracked.