Saturday, 31 July 2010
'Pro-choice campaigner questions legality of outdoor ban' at NHS Grampian sites
Following a board resolution banning the use of tobacco by staff patients or visitors at any of its sites, NHS Grampian's Freedom to Choose (Scotland) Chairman Eddie Douthwaite has told the Press and Journal that such a ban has no basis in law. Report here.
The decision was made following the publication of NHS Grampian's consultation on extending the smoking ban on Trust premises, in spite of the many voices raised in opposition. The consultation responses can be viewed here. Note especially paragraph 9 (p. 12), where a legal adviser points out that outdoor smoking is not covered under the Smoking, Health and Social Care Act (2005) that brought in the smoking ban.
The executive summary of the consultation (first two pages) concludes by observing that many people recommended a 'middle ground'. There is little sign of such a middle ground here. Carrying tobacco looks set to be a disciplinary offence for trust employees, while patients can be threatened with the withdrawal of treatment for not observing the policy. Objections of the union UNISON, Aberdeen University (a co-owner of Foresterhill hospital site) and many others, including Freedom to Choose (Scotland) and local council leader Kate Dean are apparently to be brushed aside. However we await a statement from the Trust itself as to the detail of the new policy.
Press and Journal report last year of decision following consultation
Evening Express report last year
Evening Express report this year, very disappointing piece pointing out that smokers 'could be offered nicotine in some other form': they just don't get it, do they?