21 March 2024

An award for Anna, supporting women to quit smoking in pregnancy

Anna Tye, Healthy Pregnancy Support Worker with colleagues

On 12 December last year Anna Tye, Healthy Pregnancy Support Worker, and members of the Tobacco Dependence Treatment team was invited to the House of Commons for the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge group anniversary event where Anna was presented with her certificate of appreciation from the group for her hard and dedicated work.  The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group is a coalition of organisations working to reduce rates of smoking in pregnancy that was establish in 2012.

We spoke to Anna about her role and being nominated for the award.

“When someone is pregnant and first meets with the midwife, they are asked about whether they smoke and if they want to receive any support in trying to quit. My role is then to make contact and introduce to them to the service we provide. We meet up with them, this can be at their home or in a café somewhere, wherever they are the most comfortable and provide them with the information and assurance they need to believe that it is possible for them to stop smoking. There is so much guilt attached to smoking during pregnancy and we try to be the best support system we can for that individual. This can include suggesting tools to help quit, such as using nicotine replacement products or even just being someone to talk to about how hard it is.

The suggested pathway is usually a 12-week programme, firstly with face to face meet ups and then over the phone but if someone needs more help than we can be there for them longer, it is a very flexible service.”

“Nationally the aim is that under 6% of people are smokers at delivery and as a service we reached this figure for the first time in February which is a huge achievement”

Anna’s colleague, Kerry Ashenden, Tobacco Dependence Treatment Services Midwife, nominated Anna for the recognition award for her work, specifically with one patient “Anna worked so hard and went above and beyond with this individual, she made an immeasurable difference to this woman, supporting her to make a change that was of benefit to her health and that of her baby”

Anna didn’t know she had been nominated and was shocked when she received the email inviting her to the event in London. “I was very surprised to have been nominated and it is so nice to be recognised for my work, but this award is a reflection on the whole Tobacco Dependence Treatment team and the hard work we have all put in over the last two years. What we are doing is really making a difference and I am lucky to work with such a great and professional group of people.”

Congratulations to Anna and to the team for their hard work.