Drive for smoke free hospitals
In November 2016, Public Health England (PHE) called on all NHS hospital trust chief executives to make their hospital grounds completely smoke free. Guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to the same effect has been in place since 2013.
Last month, the British Thoracic Society (BTS) published its Smoking Cessation Audit Report, revealing that fewer than 11 per cent of the hospitals surveyed were enforcing restrictions on smoking in their grounds.
All three bodies – PHE, BTS and NICE – recommend that any hospital patients who smoke should be offered help to stop if they want to.
The BTS survey found that only 28 per cent of patients known to be smokers were asked if they would like to give up.
Acute hospitals across the country must face similar challenges in showing all possible consideration for smokers and non-smokers alike, while meeting public health objectives.
The statement by our local Trust (19 January) was sensitive and realistic. Perhaps their website could publish any specific plans they have for providing hygienic access to buildings and developing smoking cessation services?
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