UCL to develop training for smoking cessation workforce
30 March 2009
A consortium headed by UCL has been chosen by the Department of Health to lead a nationally accredited training system for NHS Stop Smoking practitioners.
UCL will work with national charity Quit, NHS Leeds and a number of key contributors to the smoking cessation community to establish the NHS National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT). Its primary aim is to optimise the quality of behavioural support for smoking cessation in England.
From Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre within UCL Epidemiology & Public Health, Dr Andy McEwen has been appointed director of the centre and Professor Robert West as co-director with special responsibility for research. Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology and the Centre for Outcome Research and Effectiveness) has been appointed as co-director with special responsibility for assessment, training and evaluation. The grant will be administered through UCL Psychology with the Centre for Outcome Research and Effectiveness (CORE) as a major subcontractor.
Dr McEwen commented: "I am delighted that the consortium headed by UCL, which includes other academic institutions, charitable organisations and our partners from NHS Leeds, have been awarded this unique opportunity to develop and run the NCSCT.
"I am pleased also for the smoking cessation field in general and ultimately for smokers wishing to quit. The NCSCT offers a unique opportunity to establish national, evidence-based standards for smoking cessation behavioural support, and training of smoking cessation specialists, to deliver and evaluate accredited training programmes and to support practitioner registration.
"The NHS Stop Smoking Service is a world leading institution that provides access to effective medications, plus expert support and advice, to over 600,000 smokers a year. To lead a centre that will recognise, evaluate and develop good clinical practice within this service is an honour for all involved."
Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said: "We are delighted to announce that a bid from a consortium headed up by UCL has been successful. The winning bid offered an unrivalled blend of skills and experience that will be essential to the success of this challenging project. This has the potential to make an important national and international contribution to this key area of public health."
In October 2008, the Department of Health launched a procurement process to find an organisation to set up an NHS Centre for Smoking Cessation & Training (NCSCT) and develop evidence-based training systems for the stop smoking workforce. The UK is the only country in the world that has a network of free-stop smoking services.
Image: Dr Andy McEwen
UCL Epidemiology & Public Health is multidisciplinary department, with a staff base which aims to develop a better understanding of health and prevention of ill health through vigorous research and the development of research methodology.
This knowledge is applied via undergraduate and graduate teaching, contributions to national and international health policy and contributions to the wider public understanding on health.