Smokers flout Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s smoke-free policy and ‘abuse staff’ when asked to stop

STOCK: smoking.
STOCK: smoking.

Bosses at Chesterfield Royal Hospital are ‘working to find solutions’ as smokers continue to flout the site’s smoke-free policy- dumping cigarettes and subjecting staff to ‘abuse’ when asked not to smoke.

A concerned resident, who cannot be named, compared walking around the Royal to ‘walking through an ash tray’ after a recent visit to the site.

They snapped pictures which show outdoor areas littered with discarded cigarettes and packets, despite No Smoking signs being clearly visible.

They said: “I was disgusted to see cigarette stubs and empty cigarette packets thrown on the floor outside the entrance door.

“The Royal is proud to support a no smoking policy on site- but apart from putting up a few signs no efforts have been made to enforce it.”

A spokeperson for Trust that runs the hospital said they were ‘genuinely saddened’ the policy was being disrespected but added that the ban was ‘difficult to police’.

They said: ““We are really sorry this resident has had to see our hospital littered with cigarette stubs and packets.

“We have a team working hard to keep the site clean around the clock, although we completely agree that smoking on site, particularly at evenings and weekends results in an unpleasant environment.

“We appreciate the addictive nature of smoking, especially at times of stress and anxiety, although we are genuinely saddened that people feel they cannot respect our wish to be smoke-free.

“Our signage, which uses the words of patients and staff, asks people to think about the impact their cigarette can have on others especially at entrances and in courtyards and gardens.

“We are working hard to find solutions so that all of us feel confident about talking to people about not smoking on site, nevertheless we also understand that our staff are often subject to verbal abuse and threats when they do and we have a duty to their wellbeing also.”