Evaluation of the North Yorkshire Council Living Well Smokefree Service
Evaluation Completed July 2023
What does the research mean for Local Authorities?
This mixed-methods evaluation will explore the feasibility and acceptability of a hybrid smoking cessation service (one which offers remote, face-to-face and blended provision). The findings will generate policy and practice recommendations for the delivery of smoking cessation services. Locally the findings will be used to shape and inform how the smoking cessation services across North Yorkshire Council could be delivered. Beyond the local service landscape, smoking cessation services more generally will benefit from the translational knowledge produced around if hybrid and blended approaches are acceptable delivery models to service users and practitioners, are equitable and provide value for money.
What does the evaluation research mean for the Public?
To reduce smoking rates, it is important to provide acceptable and accessible support. This evaluation will help inform how smoking cessation services across North Yorkshire County Council are delivered. By looking at the perspectives of the people providing and receiving smoking cessation services, the findings of the evaluation will help design future support so the needs of service users are able to be better considered from a range of perspectives. This may result in more flexible support options being offered to meet specific needs, with better service access and availability being provided through both phone and face-to-face support being offered.
How are the public involved in the project?
We ran three workshops with local stakeholders to help design the research project. These stakeholders included, LWSF commissioners from the local council, managers of the LWSF service, local healthcare service partners from the NHS and voluntary community sector, LWSF smoking cessation advisers, and a public representative. We plan to work with our LWSF partners to set up further discussions with these stakeholders to discuss emerging findings and provide opportunities to provide feedback. This will support how we share our findings.
Our LWSF partners have supported us to involve service users not involved in the research to advise on the project information sheets and topic guides, and to advise on their readability, accessibility and suitability.
Smoking remains the largest avoidable cause of premature death and disability in the UK. There are approximately 70,000 smokers within North Yorkshire, with higher rates in areas of greater deprivation, and above national average rates of smoking during pregnancy. The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in many people being unable to access healthcare services, including stop-smoking services. The North Yorkshire Living Well Smokefree (LWSF) service responded to this by developing a remote stop-smoking service, where support sessions were delivered over the phone or online instead of face-to-face. As Covid-19 restrictions begin to relax, LWSF have been interested in using the learning and benefits (e.g., increased accessibility for rural communities) they have gained in supporting people remotely, and have developed a 'hybrid' service model, where they want to deliver support for people trying to stop-smoking both face-to-face and remotely.
Our research project is looking to see if this 'hybrid' approach is working, if it should be continued to be used, and how it may be improved. We are interested in if this approach results in a higher number of people quitting smoking, if it is helping different groups of people access stop-smoking services, and if it is a cost-effective way to deliver stop-smoking services.
We are going to speak to people delivering the LWSF service (e.g., smoking cessation advisers) and people receiving smoking cessation support to see what they think about the hybrid approach. We will also be looking at data collected by the LWSF service (e.g., smoking quit rates) to see if the hybrid approach is resulting in more people quitting and if it is a more cost-effective way to provide smoking cessation support.
The findings of the research will be used by LWSF to help them better deliver support for their staff and for people using their service and will be of value to smoking service commissioners and providers in other areas who are exploring the potential advantages and disadvantages of similar hybrid models of service delivery.
PHIRST Fusion Evaluation of the North Yorkshire County Council Living Well Smokefree Service: a Hybrid Specialist Stop Smoking Service offering a blend of face-to-face and remote service provision. - NIHR Funding and Award
North Yorkshire Council
PHIRST Fusion Research Team
University of Sheffield
Professor Elizabeth Goyder
Dr Duncan Gillespie
Dr Nicholas Woodrow
Dr Ryc Aquino
Dr Bronia Arnott