Friday, 21 January 2011

Wales hospital criticised for tobacco mess on surrounding streets. Watch them not learning

A Swansea hospital has been criticised for not providing smoking facilities for its staff and patients following growing litter problems since it banned smoking from its site in 2009. There is no acknowledgement on the part of the Trust of any problem with this outright ban, which involved moving smoking bins off the premises to the gates of the site (ffs!), and effectively dumping the waste in the street, rather than offering patients, staff and smokers a smoking room. The usual volley of counter-insults appears in the comments column below.

Worse still, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board plans to follow suit this year with plans for a ban in hospital doorways from April, and the Welsh Health Minister even considering outlawing smoking on hospital premises. They seriously think it will save money.

Today's Daily Record (I learned from the daily news bulletin of ASH Scotland) carries a letter from a woman aged 40 with a terminal lung condition. (No url.) Her complaint (and she feels she has the right) is that she has to get through a barricade of smokers to get to her hospital appointments. Unfortunately she blames the smokers, rather than blaming the authorities for not allowing the hospital's catering department to accommodate them in a large room, where visitors could rest with a coffee while waiting for their loved ones, and patients could take their relatives or just go for some time away from the ward. I know what I would do in her case: rather than claiming a 'right to complain', I would go to war with the hospital authorities and the Government, rather than hope to influence smokers by writing to the papers about them.

What will it take this country to come to its senses on this issue?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That makes good sense if the people who might feel annoyed by smokers displaced to the doorways and streets to instead of complain and bad-mouth the smokers would instead turn on authority for putting them out there in the first place. It would be more constructive.