Hospitals to ban smoking
By David LennardALL the hospitals in north Suffolk will become smoke-free zones from tomorrow as smoking is banned in both buildings and grounds.Waveney Primary Care Trust runs the community hospitals in Halesworth, Southwold and Beccles and is going smoke-free to mark No Smoking Day on March 9.
By David Lennard
ALL the hospitals in north Suffolk will become smoke-free zones from tomorrow as smoking is banned in both buildings and grounds.
Waveney Primary Care Trust runs the community hospitals in Halesworth, Southwold and Beccles and is going smoke-free to mark No Smoking Day on March 9.
The announcement follows a similar move by the James Paget Trust that runs the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston and Lowestoft Hospital. Other clinics and buildings run by the two trusts will also become no-smoking areas from tomorrow.
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Outdoor smoking areas for patients, visitors and staff in hospitals and clinics across north Suffolk are being scrapped and it is hoped the entire NHS will be smoke-free by the end of next year.
Sarah Freeman, project worker for Smoke Free Suffolk, said: “Waveney Primary Care Trust is in the business of health care and is therefore naturally keen to take measures to promote better health, hence the introduction of the smoke-free policy.
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“The primary care trust is constantly encouraging smokers to quit and by implementing a smoke-free policy is practising what it preaches and setting a good example, which will give extra encouragement for smokers to stop.”
The no-smoking policy has been drawn up following consultation with staff at hospitals and clinics.
Community staff and other employees who do not work at primary care trust-owned property, such as GP practices, are expected not to smoke.
Waveney Primary Care Trust staff who smoke will only be able to do so off-site during official unpaid breaks and anyone who wants to kick the habit will be offered help from a variety of sources.
Dr Alistair Lipp, the trust's director of public health, said: “I am delighted to support this policy, which will protect staff and patients from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
“We also know that workplace smoking policies help some of the 75% of smokers who wish to stop to finally quit the habit. We must keep in mind that smoking is the largest single cause of disease and premature death in England.”
Health care assistant Eugene Calver, 31, who works at Beccles Hospital, is hoping the scheme will finally help him give up smoking completely.
A smoker for the past 10 years, he has managed to reduce the number of cigarettes he smokes a day from 20 to 10, but has never tried to kick the habit for good before.
“Normally when I want a cigarette at work, I simply nip outside, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to stop smoking for good beginning on Wednesday,” he said.