THEY deal with one of Blackpool’s biggest health issues and now the Stop Smoking in Pregnancy Team’s work has earned them a place on an awards shortlist.
The NHS workers are in the running for the Changing Lives category of the Gazette-backed Celebrating Success Awards.
Blackpool – which had the highest rates in the country of mums-to-be smoking during pregnancy – has reduced its smoking at the time of delivery by 3.5 per cent, the equivalent of 48 babies born to mums who quit smoking during their pregnancies.
The team carried out an in-depth analysis of why the resort had high rates and what could be done to reduce it.
The Women and Children’s Unit has been implementing a three-year plan to tackle the issue.
Out of all primary care trusts, Blackpool is in the top two per cent in the country for achieving the greatest reduction over a year.
The improvements came about by consistent working with the public health department, colleagues from the coding department and the introduction of carbon monoxide testing during pregnancy.
Pauline Tschobotko, head of the service who nominated the team, said: “It’s been a massive effort across everybody involved with pregnant women.
“It has been an incredible achievement – achieved through team work.
“The reduction is a welcome reward for all the really hard work and effort everyone has put into this very challenging issue.
“The result is more babies born healthy.
“It is a very important issue because babies born to mums who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to be born premature, to need extra care when born and suffer health problems during later life, such as glue ear and asthma.”