Lincolnshire hospitals trust wants your views on smoke-free sites
The trust which runs Grantham Hospital is carrying out a survey on a proposal to make all of its sites smoke free.
This could mean a no smoking rule not only inside buildings belonging to United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, but also in all grounds and vehicles.
The Trust says that to enable it to provide a safe environment that promotes health and reduces harm from exposure to second-hand smoke, discussions around turning all of its sites completely smoke free are taking place throughout 2019. This could also mean removing all designated smoking areas.
A ULHT spokesman said: "As an NHS organisation, we have a duty to protect and care for the health and wellbeing of our patients, staff and visitors. Many of the people who access our services are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of second hand smoke, such as pregnant women, babies, children and those with medical conditions.
"We recognise that smoking is a personal choice and we do not discriminate against those who choose to do so, however we are a health-promoting organisation and are committed to protecting and improving the health and wellbeing of all employees, patients and visitors.
"Smoking is the leading cause of premature death in the UK. Exposure to second-hand smoke can also cause disease and premature death among non-smokers and even brief exposure can cause immediate harm. Being completely smoke free would reflect our commitment and responsibility for improving health and wellbeing.
"Any decision to go smoke free would also be in line with The Health Act (2006) and The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 2013 guidelines which state that all hospital sites should ideally be 100% smoke free."
ULHT is conducting a four-month consultation and engagement exercise with patients, public and staff. The consultation will finish at the end of July, with all comments and feedback analysed and considered before any decision is made.
The trust is asking a series of questions as part of this process, to help us mitigate concerns and manage the process in the most effective way for everyone involved:
ULHT is also debating the use of e-cigarettes on its premises and is discussing whether or not they can be used on its property.
The spokesman added: "There is no given right to smoke and no obligation to permit people to smoke. It is part of our duty to improve and protect the health and wellbeing of our staff, patients and wider communities and this includes ensuring we uphold their right to be protected from second hand smoke.
"We want staff to be ambassadors for good health and promote a Smokefree policy, therefore all patients who attend our sites will be asked if they smoke. Patients who are admitted either as an emergency or planned admission, will be offered nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in the form of patches and inhalator and will be offered a referral for ongoing support. Patients who insist on leaving the ward areas to smoke will not be obstructed but will be advised of the Smokefree policy and asked not to smoke within the hospital grounds."
The Department of Health recommends that you are four times more likely to quit smoking if you use a combination of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and support from a trained stop smoking adviser.