Chesterfield hospital’s smoking ban working ‘really well’ during week

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Chesterfield Royal chiefs say a smoking ban on the entire hospital site is working ‘really well’ during the week.

However, bosses have admitted they are having problems enforcing the policy at weekends.

The ban came into force at the end of July after a consultation with staff, patients and visitors.

A Royal spokesman said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to patients and visitors who are doing their bit to keep the hospital site cleaner, clearer and healthier by not smoking or using e-cigs on site.

“Since we relaunched the smoke free policy there have been far fewer smokers at entrances and in courtyard gardens – which was a huge issue.

“It’s going really well during the week.

“However, weekends have proved more difficult and we’ve had complaints from patients and visitors.

“This is our next focus to make the Royal a more welcoming place on every day of the week.

“The message is simple – when you’re on site please don’t light-up a cigarette or use an e-cig.”

The spokesman added: “Information cards are in ten different locations in the hospital.

“If you see someone smoking on site, hand one of the cards over.

“They explain we’re a smoke free site and where to get advice on quitting the habit for good.”

As part of last year’s consultation, an online survey found that 60 per cent of 2,000 respondents felt the hospital should do more to ask people not to smoke.

The same number advocated the use of nicotine replacement therapy for patients on wards.

Patients in pyjamas and sitting in wheelchairs smoking in the grounds and gardens was noted as ‘a real concern’.

Simon Clark, of pro-smoking pressure group Forest, criticised the ban.

He said: “Behind this policy is a degree of bullying that is unacceptable in a tolerant society.

“People are no longer educated about the health risks of smoking. Today they are patronised, insulted and made to feel like lepers.

“The public health industry is engaged in a campaign of creeping prohibition. Banning smoking in the open air, even on hospital grounds, is a step too far.” Smoking-related diseases are responsible for more than half a million hospital admissions every year.