Smoking on the trust’s sites
Many of our patients, staff and visitors are concerned that a minority of patients and visitors still smoke in the trust’s outdoor spaces, particularly around entrances to our buildings. This happens in spite of no smoking notices and warnings from security staff and the smoking cessation team who patrol our sites. This poses a health risk to patients, visitors and staff who should be able to enter and leave our sites without having to inhale secondary smoke.
We make every effort to enforce our smoke free policy, but compliance remains a challenge. Unfortunately, we cannot patrol our sites 24 hours-a-day and, sadly, our staff sometimes face verbal abuse and refusals to comply when they confront people smoking on the premises.
We cannot physically stop someone from smoking, so we respectfully ask patients and visitors to consider the health of others by complying with the no smoking notices on our sites, particularly as these are health settings.
What we are doing to tackle the issue:
- We offer smoking cessation support to patients seen smoking and aim to offer this to more patients in future. Support with giving up smoking is also available here: nhs.uk/smoke-free or www.quit.org.uk
- We patrol the hospital sites throughout the day and ask smokers to extinguish their cigarettes or leave the premises and smoke off site.
- The smokers support team are working really hard to minimise the number of inpatients who smoke in the grounds. They visit wards on a daily basis (Monday – Friday) offering nicotine replacement therapy and encouraging patients to comply with the trust’s smoke free policy. Indeed, we are encouraged by a noticeable reduction in smoking at the entrances to the wings since they have implemented this support and have received positive feedback.
- We are considering new ways of reducing the number of people smoking on our sites and want to learn from other hospitals who have done this successfully.
- We are exploring the cost of installing cameras and intercoms linked to the security office so that staff can use a microphone to ask smokers to stop, to help reduce the risk to our employees. This would be operated on a trial basis and, if successful, the equipment would be installed at each entrance.
We invite ideas for tackling this issue and examples of where this has been done successfully elsewhere. Please email Communications@stgeorges.nhs.uk with your ideas and we will forward these to our Estates team.