After several visits to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here in Kings Lynn Norfolk, http://www.qehkl.nhs.uk/ I noticed that very often there would be several people, both patients and visitors, smoking across the road from the main entrance to the hospital. I found it particularly alarming on one occasion when I saw a patient standing there hooked up to a drip and they also appeared to have an oxygen supply! On this visit today I took a few minutes to speak to several people smoking outside the main Building of the Queen Elizabeth HNS trust Hospital in clear violation of the stated No Smoking policy. They felt that the policy of banning smoking anywhere with in the grounds of the hospital was “Pointless” and “stupid”. I have decided to keep the written article short as I think the recorded conversation really sums everything Their views are very clear in this conversation which was recorded at the hospital.
Richard Humphries, the media & communications spokes person for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital confirmed that currently the signs stated that the No Smoking Policy was across the grounds but that this had been reviewed recently by the Hospital board and that this part of the policy had been relaxed as the Hospital had no powers to enforce this NHS directive and the No Smoking Policy now only covered the buildings. The board had discussed and reviewed the entire smoking policy as recently as the end of Oct 2011 and was also looking to erect shelters for smoking and was looking closely at the placement and costing of these shelters. This does go someway to addressing the concerns expressed by the members of the public. The recent review also begs the question how the NHS could expect a hospital to put an unenforceable directive in place?
Its my belief that the Smoking Policy needed to be either enforced in some way or emended and it looks like the Hospital has identified that there was a need to make these changes.
I do wonder about the cost of those signs and the mind set of the people that ignored them.
As a follow up to this story I recently visited Norwich Hospital and found the same situation there, smokers openly flouting the No Smoking policy there. Seated at a table which ad a No Smoking sign fixed to it was ‘David’ here is what he had to say.
So it seems that the policy which covered the entire grounds of a hospital which is un-enforcable is common across Norfolk at least. I look forward to the responses from these two hospitals and welcome stories from service users who are also smokers. OR are you a non smoker who feels that this policy should be enforced? Don’t you mind where and when smokers can smoke? Respond at get your voice heard.
10 Nov 2011
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