Bassetlaw Hospital seeks views over on site smoking ban

Staff at Bassetlaw Hospital during their cigarette break  (w120814-6b)

Staff at Bassetlaw Hospital during their cigarette break (w120814-6b)

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SHOULD people be allowed to smoke within Bassetlaw Hospital grounds?

That is the question health chiefs are asking patients, visitors and staff in a major consultation launched this month.

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust currently has a total ban on smoking - asking anyone to leave the site if they wish to smoke.

But bosses say the ban is not without problems and has proved difficult to enforce since it was brought in in May 2006 - with groups of smokers congregating outside and staff receiving verbal abuse if they ask them to move.

Deputy director of nursing Victoria Bagshaw, who is leading the review, said they want ‘practical’ and ‘effective’ solutions to manage the problem.

“We discourage smoking because it is very harmful to health, but at the same time we recognise that many smokers are addicted and will feel they need a cigarette while at the hospital - especially if someone they care about is extremely unwell,” she said.

“We also don’t like to see patients from the wards leaving the site to stand on street corners in the cold and rain while they smoke.”

People can submit their views online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/dbhsmoking, email smoking@dbh.nhs.uk, tweet to @DBH_NHSFT (#dbsmoke) or write to Smoking Taskforce, Management Suite, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Armthorpe Road, Doncaster DN2 5LT.

The closing date is 14th September 2012.

For the full story, pick up a copy of this week’s Worksop Guardian.