Hospital trust to ignore smoking ban guideline

Banbury Cake: Prof Mike Kelly, of Nice, says it is ridiculous that smoking is still ‘passively encouraged’ at hospital sites Prof Mike Kelly, of Nice, says it is ridiculous that smoking is still ‘passively encouraged’ at hospital sites

OXFORDSHIRE’S hospital trust is to flout a recommendation by a Government body that smoking should be banned from its sites.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust has said it will continue with its plans to install smoking shelters at all four of its hospital sites – the John Radcliffe, Churchill and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford, and the Horton General in Banbury.

This is despite the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) issuing guidance that hospital sites should be “smoke-free”.

Mark Trumper, director of development and the estate at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We continue to discourage smoking on all of our hospital sites. However we have accepted that it has not been practical or legally enforceable to prevent patients and visitors from smoking in areas where they are not directly impacting on non-smoking patients, visitors and staff.

“We hope that the installation of shelters will encourage people to consider the impact that smoking has on the wider public, and we hope to create a more appropriate environment around our entrance areas which is where we historically have had a significant problem.

“The policy for staff will not change. Staff are prohibited from smoking anywhere on our hospital sites and any member found smoking on site will be subject to internal disciplinary procedures.”

Earlier this year, the trust was given planning permission to put smoking shelters up at all of its hospital sites.

Mr Trumper said it is still in the process of finalising the new policy on smoking and no firm date has been set for their installation.

City councillor Ruth Wilkinson, whose Headington ward includes the John Radcliffe, said: “We have campaigned alongside residents for a very long time to petition the trust to establish shelters for smokers on the site.

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“Smoking-related nuisance caused by trust staff has caused immense annoyance to those living near the boundary who have had to endure smoking litter and the smell of cigarette smoke in their gardens.

“Ideally we would like to see all staff employed by the trust and Carillion to be offered assistance to quit smoking, but we are assured by smoking cessation nurses that smokers often cannot quit the habit overnight and a more effective approach would be a planned phased reduction in cigarette intake.”

The decision to install the shelters was criticised by many of Oxfordshire’s senior doctors, including Dr Jonathan McWilliam, the county’s director of public health.

Now their voices have been joined by that of Nice which has said NHS staff, visitors, and family members should also be encouraged to stop smoking.

Prof Mike Kelly, director of public health at Nice, said: “It is absurd that smoking is still being passively encouraged within hospitals. The professionals have to be willing to take this guidance on.”

Comments (12)

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6:28am Mon 2 Dec 13

SNJ says...

Will the patients in pyjamas who at present stand at the main entrance to the JR smoking be made to use these shelters?
Will the patients in pyjamas who at present stand at the main entrance to the JR smoking be made to use these shelters? SNJ

9:05am Mon 2 Dec 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

Quote:- Prof Mike Kelly, director of public health at Nice, said: “It is absurd that smoking is still being passively encouraged within hospitals. The professionals have to be willing to take this guidance on.”

It's wouldn't be the professionals who have to take it on, it's the staff who have to enforce something that isn't backed up by legislation who have to take it on.

There are absolutely no consequencies for saying "No".
Quote:- Prof Mike Kelly, director of public health at Nice, said: “It is absurd that smoking is still being passively encouraged within hospitals. The professionals have to be willing to take this guidance on.” It's wouldn't be the professionals who have to take it on, it's the staff who have to enforce something that isn't backed up by legislation who have to take it on. There are absolutely no consequencies for saying "No". Andrew:Oxford

10:17am Mon 2 Dec 13

chas says...

NHS hospitals are public property and smoking cannot be banned on their sites, because smoking is not illegal in open public places.
NHS hospitals are public property and smoking cannot be banned on their sites, because smoking is not illegal in open public places. chas

12:34pm Mon 2 Dec 13

snert says...

So, if you're a smoker and you have to go to A&E and you're waiting around and want a cigarette during a stressful time, you must walk to a shelter. That is fine. Totally banning it on site is stupid and legally unenforceable. People will still smoke on the site regardless because we don't have a "Smoking Police" (yet). While we're at it, shall we look at banning all unhealthy food from hospitals as well? What else can we ban? There's got to be something that offends someone for them to want to ban someone else from doing it.
So, if you're a smoker and you have to go to A&E and you're waiting around and want a cigarette during a stressful time, you must walk to a shelter. That is fine. Totally banning it on site is stupid and legally unenforceable. People will still smoke on the site regardless because we don't have a "Smoking Police" (yet). While we're at it, shall we look at banning all unhealthy food from hospitals as well? What else can we ban? There's got to be something that offends someone for them to want to ban someone else from doing it. snert

12:52pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Severian says...

Chas - it's because they are public property that we CAN ban smoking on the sites. The hospitals are just choosing not to.

And it's no point asking the staff to enforce the ban - half of the smokers are staff themselves.

When my parents were dying with cancer (not at Oxon hospitals though) the smoking shelters were regularly visited by the cancer ward nurses for a quick fag!
Chas - it's because they are public property that we CAN ban smoking on the sites. The hospitals are just choosing not to. And it's no point asking the staff to enforce the ban - half of the smokers are staff themselves. When my parents were dying with cancer (not at Oxon hospitals though) the smoking shelters were regularly visited by the cancer ward nurses for a quick fag! Severian

12:55pm Mon 2 Dec 13

chas says...

Severian. It is the Government that can change the law and not hospitals.
Severian. It is the Government that can change the law and not hospitals. chas

1:11pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

Severian wrote:
Chas - it's because they are public property that we CAN ban smoking on the sites. The hospitals are just choosing not to.

And it's no point asking the staff to enforce the ban - half of the smokers are staff themselves.

When my parents were dying with cancer (not at Oxon hospitals though) the smoking shelters were regularly visited by the cancer ward nurses for a quick fag!
They aren't public property... Here's a link to Google street view.

http://goo.gl/maps/7
mpfD

If you look carefully at the sign it says quite clearly that it is "Private Land - No Public Right of Way"
[quote][p][bold]Severian[/bold] wrote: Chas - it's because they are public property that we CAN ban smoking on the sites. The hospitals are just choosing not to. And it's no point asking the staff to enforce the ban - half of the smokers are staff themselves. When my parents were dying with cancer (not at Oxon hospitals though) the smoking shelters were regularly visited by the cancer ward nurses for a quick fag![/p][/quote]They aren't public property... Here's a link to Google street view. http://goo.gl/maps/7 mpfD If you look carefully at the sign it says quite clearly that it is "Private Land - No Public Right of Way" Andrew:Oxford

4:38pm Mon 2 Dec 13

chas says...

So the public are not allowed on the hospital grounds?
So the public are not allowed on the hospital grounds? chas

7:14pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

chas wrote:
So the public are not allowed on the hospital grounds?
The status is no different to going into a supermarket.

You are generally welcome to visit for a fit and proper purpose, but can be refused access by the owner.
[quote][p][bold]chas[/bold] wrote: So the public are not allowed on the hospital grounds?[/p][/quote]The status is no different to going into a supermarket. You are generally welcome to visit for a fit and proper purpose, but can be refused access by the owner. Andrew:Oxford

8:31pm Mon 2 Dec 13

chas says...

Andrew. Even you said 'There are absolutely no consequencies for saying "No".
You will find that supermarkets are private companies unlike NHS hospitals.
Andrew. Even you said 'There are absolutely no consequencies for saying "No". You will find that supermarkets are private companies unlike NHS hospitals. chas

10:43pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

chas wrote:
Andrew. Even you said 'There are absolutely no consequencies for saying "No".
You will find that supermarkets are private companies unlike NHS hospitals.
I wasn't the one who put the signs up!

Besides... Not all parts of the sites are owned by the OUH NHS Trust. Significant parts are owned by PFI organisations and the University...
[quote][p][bold]chas[/bold] wrote: Andrew. Even you said 'There are absolutely no consequencies for saying "No". You will find that supermarkets are private companies unlike NHS hospitals.[/p][/quote]I wasn't the one who put the signs up! Besides... Not all parts of the sites are owned by the OUH NHS Trust. Significant parts are owned by PFI organisations and the University... Andrew:Oxford

11:29pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Junican says...

Severian.
You are wrong because smokers do not smoke ON hospital grounds - they smoke IN the open air. The hospital does not own the open air ABOVE the ground. By the way, that is not the same as garage forecourts. In such places, there is actual physical danger, but not from smoking per se. The danger is the hot, burning end of the cigarette.
Also, the land is owned by the government and not the hospital. It would have to be the government which forbade smoking. But that would not be logical since the indoor ban applies only to indoor 'public' places and the government would have made provision for bans in hospital grounds had it wished to do so.
Severian. You are wrong because smokers do not smoke ON hospital grounds - they smoke IN the open air. The hospital does not own the open air ABOVE the ground. By the way, that is not the same as garage forecourts. In such places, there is actual physical danger, but not from smoking per se. The danger is the hot, burning end of the cigarette. Also, the land is owned by the government and not the hospital. It would have to be the government which forbade smoking. But that would not be logical since the indoor ban applies only to indoor 'public' places and the government would have made provision for bans in hospital grounds had it wished to do so. Junican

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