Wednesday, 4 August 2010

More about hospitals

Good news from NHS Grampian – a delay in its decision to implement its no- smoking policy for six months pending further consultations.

The threat of withholding treatment from smokers who breached NHS Grampian policy did not stop the Patients' Council spokeswoman from saying that she could 'not understand the delay'.

Another board member's view that 'the integrity of the board is at stake' if they fail to come up with an enforceable policy reflects the board's position that only a narrowly defined and very dogmatic interpretation of 'health promotion' will satisfy.

Freedom to Choose (Scotland) takes the view that the integrity of the board will take a leap if it listens to the problems detailed in the consultation executive summary (2009) – including the clear possibility that a doctrinaire anti-smoking policy will deter people from treatment – and abandons its dogmatic approach. In these economically-straitened times the prospect of spending up to £80K (Daily Mail, 3 August, p. 25) on destroying smoking shelters for no clear gain, only to have more people wandering off the site in their pyjamas, seems quite bizarre.

YET ANOTHER HOSPITAL STORY BROKE TODAY – Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, was reported in The Scotsman to have called in the environmental officers to 'fine people up to £50 for flouting its smoking policy'.

Of course, the environmental officers can apply fines for smoking only in enclosed or partially enclosed places. A phone call to Tayside Health Board quickly clarified that the enforcement officers had been called in to enforce the law – not the policy of no smoking in the grounds, which is not law.

For convenience I have added the link for Smoking, Health and Social Care Act (Scotland) 2005 to the side bar of the blog for easy reference.

And one more point:
No Smoking Symbolthe sign on the left must mean that prohibitions on smoking are banned, mustn't it ...?


Cigarette Sally said...

Smoking bans are great if they would only be a little more considerate of us smokers.

Belinda said...

Sadly I don't believe that 'being more considerate of smokers' is compatible with the aim of the authorities to 'denormalise' smoking, and reduce its social acceptability. The clear result of this is to reduce social opportunities for smokers, and the government seems not to care about the social isolation that results for people of all ages.

While there are laws against discrimination on the basis of gender, race or sexuality, smokers have become fair game. Gone is the idea of 'universal' human rights/equality. The message is you can discriminate against or abuse people unless they are protected under human rights legislation - what a farce.