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Fresh commends partners after winning NHS award

Fresh has paid tribute to hundreds of partners in the North East and nationally working to make smoking history after winning an NHS North East Leadership Recognition Award.


Fresh won the Outstanding Collaborative Leadership Category sponsored by Public Health England, the Local Government Association and the Leadership Centre in the NHS North East Leadership Recognition Awards yesterday.


The Fresh team has worked with hundreds of people in local, regional and national organisations across local authorities, the Association of North East Councils, NHS, Department of Health and Public Health England, as well as major charities like Cancer Research UK, the British Lung Foundation and Action on Smoking and Health since being set up in 2005.


Lisa Surtees, Acting Director of Fresh, said: "We are delighted to have won this award but this goes not just to the Fresh team but the hundreds of people working locally, regionally and nationally to reduce the harm caused by smoking tobacco, which kills 15 people a day in our region.


"We would also like to give credit to Professor Paul Corris, Professor of Thoracic Medicine at the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who was a founder member of the Making Smoking History in the North East Partnership, and who was also a nominee in the same category, as well as thanking Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council and Chair of the Partnership who nominated Fresh."


Some of the achievements since Fresh was set up in 2005 as a regional office and campaign are:


  • Smoking has fallen from 29% in 2005 to 22% in 2013 while youth smoking rates have also fallen. This is the second largest fall in England and a reduction of around 120,000 smokers. Between 2005-12 the region also saw an 8% fall in deaths from lung cancer, 32% fall in deaths from coronary heart disease and a 38% fall in deaths from heart attack.


  • The partnership work won Fresh the Gold Medal in the inaugural Chief Medical Officer's Public Health Awards in 2009, while Director Ailsa Rutter was awarded the World Health Organisation's World No Tobacco Day medal in 2014 in recognition of outstanding work to tackle smoking in the North East.


Fresh is now through to the national finals in March.