To enable us to provide a safe environment that promotes health and reduces harm from exposure to second-hand smoke, all of our sites turned completely smokefree on Monday 6 January 2020.
This means that smoking is no longer permitted on any of our sites including all buildings, grounds and vehicles. This also includes the removal of all designated smoking areas.
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 Smokefree reflects our commitment and responsibility for improving health and wellbeing.
Our decision to go Smokefree is also 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% Smokefree.
The challenges around becoming Smokefree are recognised, so from March to July 2019, we undertook a four-month consultation and engagement exercise with our patients, public and staff around the implications of a new policy and the way in which we implement.
We asked 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.
Download a copy of our Smokefree ULHT consultation report below to see the results.
We know that many people are giving up smoking by switching to e-Cigarettes and these have been proven to be an effective way of helping people to quit smoking completely. As e-Cigarettes do not expose others to second hand smoke and offer a less harmful alternative to smoking, their use will still be permitted within the grounds of our sites.
There is no given right to smoke and no obligation to permit people to smoke. It is part of our duty to improve and the 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.