Thursday, 19 August 2010

Three more fined at Ninewells including on-call emergency nurse

An emergency on-call nurse has been fined for smoking during her break time at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee. The details are here.

In spite of a commenter declaring 'public support = 0', personally my support for this person is high, because she's on a hiding to nothing. The enforcement officers have issued a fine to someone who is contractually bound, as an on-call duty officer, not to leave the grounds. She was unable to comply with the smoking policy's requirement to go off the site. Such a person is supposed to accept a requirement to renounce smoking throughout her shift or face criminal sanctions. Had she gone off site to smoke she would also been in breach of her contract. . I also don't see why people should expect employees of a health service (especially one that is free at the point of need) to be walking exemplars of how to live healthily in all their break times. Are we expected to raid nurses' lunch boxes and extract anything with too much sugar or salt in it?

I don't see why the Health Board should be entitled unilaterally to change her conditions of service without issuing a new contract of employment, in pursuit of anti-smoking dogma.

Just give them a big, airy room with ash trays, tea and coffee facilities, and comfortable seating. That will solve the doorway smoking problem instantly. Oh sorry, have I said that before?

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