Anonymous audio messages to prevent smoking at Musgrove Park Hospital

Smokefree audio system

Hospitals are using audio messages to prevent smoking at the major entrances of Musgrove Park Hospital.

The innovative solution, provided by Health & Care Videos, is proving to be quite effective.

What was the problem? 

Smoking outside of hospitals is common but can be very dangerous for patients, and not just the ones smoking.  Musgrove Park Hospital knew they had to do something to reduce smoking on site. Chief Executive, Dr Sam Barrell said:

“It is really important for us as a hospital to promote healthy living to our patients, carers and family and friends, and part of that includes having an entirely Smokefree site.”

How Musgrove Park Hospital uses anonymous audio messages to prevent smoking

The idea of using anonymous audio messages to prevent smoking started with Hayley Stone; a specialist smoking cessation midwife at the hospital.

She began this program with a single PA system outside of the maternity unit. Staff would press the button whenever someone was seen smoking in the area.

The smoker would hear a message from an anonymous source telling them not to smoke. These sources were real-life people including parents, grandparents and children. Listen to them here.

Evidence suggests that these audio messages resonated with smokers in the area. It’s a great alternative to staff asking them directly to stop smoking as it’s less confrontational and saves staff time.

As a result of using these anonymous audio messages to prevent smoking, the maternity unit saw a huge drop in the number of smokers outside of the ward. 

Setting up audio messages across the hospital

This solution was so successful, not to mention popular among staff and patients, it was rolled out across 11 smoking hotspot sites around the hospital. These include the entrances for

  • Accident and Emergency
  • The Beacon Centre
  • The Duchess Building
  • The Jubilee Building

Each of these locations now has a personalised announcement system that’s incredibly user-friendly. Dr Barrell says:

“If you happen to be here and you are walking past and you see someone smoking, please do press the button and hopefully that will encourage others to do the same.”

Lucy Rexworthy, Musgrove Park Hospital’s Smokefree Lead was instrumental in implementing this system and believes these audio clips have great potential to prevent smoking.

“Rolling out the PA systems across the hospital entrances has been a fantastic project to work on. The local children and parents who helped us record the messages have been brilliant and deserve tremendous recognition.

“What the Smokefree team believe to be so great about this roll-out is that not only can our colleagues activate the system but patients and visitors too. We know that to change the culture of smoking on site, we will need the support of the public and we truly hope that incentives like this one will make it easier for the public to engage with our campaign to have an entirely smoke free hospital site.”

Could your facility use these messages?

Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust are working with Health & Care Videos to offer an audio and hardware package so you can use the no smoking system on your smokefree sites.