NHS STUBS OUT CAR PARK CIGS
Hospitals’ total smoking ban
THE NHS will ban smoking in all hospital grounds, including car parks, from April.
It has been an NHS policy to stop anyone smoking at hospitals but, until now, around a third of Trusts have not introduced the rules.
The Government’s Department of Health, headed by Matt Hancock, has even pledged to make the country “smoke-free” by 2030.
Ministers have said nobody should have to “walk past a cloud of smoke in order to enter or leave their local hospital”.
The ban does not apply to vaping. Public Health England says every smoker who wants to give up – including pregnant women – should be encouraged to take up e-cigarettes.
Officials also want hospitals to replace smoking shelters with vaping lounges.
Meanwhile, Norwich’s NHS hospital has been so overwhelmed with patients that staff issued a memo telling medics to make “the least unsafe decision” when treating patients.
The hospital had no free beds, A&E was full and there were 35 people waiting on trolleys for admission to wards.
Dr Sue Crossland, the president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the message was worrying.
She added: “We would always support our members to make safe decisions, despite the pressures we face from all sides.
“We acknowledge the dire situation but we must always make safe decisions and give our patients the best care possible.
“Patients and their families deserve to know that trusts are providing the best and safest care.”
THE NHS will ban smoking in all hospital grounds. Car parks will be included too under the new rules. Good. It’s a sensible decision. And it’s long overdue. Although current policies say it should be prohibited, it hasn’t been introduced everywhere. But the total ban from next April means all hospitals will have to comply. The sight of people smoking in the grounds always seems self-defeating. It clearly isn’t the place for it. Forcing people to walk past clouds of smoke to enter or leave the building simply isn’t right. Especially not if they’re ill. But this will stop that.
It’s a victory for common sense.
BOSS: Matt Hancock