Homerton Hospital smoking ban would stop patients smoking in their homes for an hour before staff visit
- Credit: Archant
Homerton Hospital is planning a total smoking ban on its premises – and in patients’ homes – by the end of the year.
Pending the results of a consultation, the ban would be introduced in phases, with staff no longer able to smoke on site by October – to coincide with the “Stoptober” stop smoking campaign.
And any patients who receive hospital care at home will be asked not to smoke for an hour before staff arrive.
The hospital in Homerton Row has smoking shelters at the moment, but should the ban be approved they’ll all be removed and anyone wishing to smoke will have to do so off-site.
Banning smoking within NHS sites is “not an infringement of service users’ human rights” according to Homerton’s consultation document. The point was established in the Court of Appeal in 2008 in a judgement asserting that, in the interests of public health, a complete ban on smoking in hospitals is justified.
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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says all NHS-funded secondary care sites should become completely smoke-free, and many NHS organisations have already taken note.
Trust chief nurse Sheila Adam said: “Smoking remains the number one health risk to people in this country and is the cause of many diseases and conditions which cost the NHS millions of pounds a year to treat.
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“It is right and proper that we should be discouraging smoking on NHS sites but at the same time we propose offering nicotine patches and support to patients who are smokers while in hospital. Smoke-free public buildings and services have now been the norm for 10 years.” The smoking ban in enclosed public spaces was introduced in 2007.
According to Homerton’s management, benefits would include making sure non-smokers aren’t exposed to second-hand smoke, and protecting people with chronic conditions like asthma. The move would also support the Hackney-wide priority to stop people taking up smoking, and prevent the site being littered by cigarette ends.
If the ban goes ahead, smoking will not be permitted on any site where Homerton staff work. As well as trust premises, property leased by the trust and vehicles it owns or leases, that includes patients’ homes where services are provided.
To comment see homerton.nhs.uk/smokefree.