Primary care trusts show wide variations in the implementation of their smoking-cessation services, and many have not consulted with patients and the public, says the Healthcare Commission.

Primary care trusts show wide variations in the implementation of their smoking-cessation services, and many have not consulted with patients and the public, says the Healthcare Commission.

In the survey of all 303 PCTs in England, almost half in deprived areas scored an 'excellent' rating, compared with less than 20 per cent of PCTs in the most affluent areas.

Only 2 per cent of PCTs in the most deprived areas scored 'fair', the lowest rating, compared with a quarter of PCTs covering more affluent communities.

PCTs in the north east of England are performing better than those in other parts of the country - almost 70 per cent of PCTs in the region had an 'excellent' rating, compared with 16 per cent of PCTs in the South East and 10 per cent in the West Midlands.

But many poorer-performing trusts showed little evidence of working with other agencies such as local councils, hospitals, local businesses and voluntary organisations.