Thursday, 3 February 2011

Pennine Acute Trust seeks change in law to support non-smoking policy

Yesterday I reported how NHS Grampian has moved from resolving to ban smoking everywhere on its sites and impose sanctions on staff carrying tobacco (their plans from the summer) to settling for encouraging people not to smoke, rather than banning them.

The solution found by the Pennine Acute Trust is less imaginative. It calls for a change in the law (as planned by Wales), so that smoking in hospital grounds becomes a crime.
The trust is now urging local MPs and councillors to support a campaign for a change in the law to make all hospitals and grounds fully no-smoking areas. 
In the midst of staffing crises, the trust is actually lobbying for a law to dictate how to treat smokers on its own premises. It has already dispensed with plans for shelters.
Chief executive John Saxby said it was incredibly difficult to enforce no smoking on hospital grounds.
He said: "We certainly do not wish to place our staff at risk of potential abuse or injury when tackling the very emotive issue of people smoking at hospital entrances or in hospital grounds."
Splendid pass-buckery. Bans are fantastic as long as 'our staff' don't have to enforce them.

Such a ban would mean that anyone attending Pennine Acute Trust property, whether in the capacity of patient, visitor, staff, contractor of any kind, will be breaking the law by smoking on the premises, even outdoors – all for the sake proving how hot the Trust is on health issues. This Trust has no scruples about making patients 'take their drip and stand at the bus station'.

Breaking the law for smoking outdoors – regardless of circumstances concerning personal mobility, state of mind or anything else: was that in anyone's manifesto last May? Leaving Pennine Acute Trust powerless to exercise discretion or compassion under any circumstances?

Pennine Acute Trust should be careful what it wishes for. So should anyone lobbying in support of its aims.


Anonymous said...

So they admit defeat, refuse to seek a reasonable compromise with those who actually own their trust, then propose to waste £thousands lobbying parliament for more legislation to quench their thirst for making peoples lives more miserable!

It is not rocket science, it is proven that throwing money away legislating against a legitimate habit loses votes just ask the labour party! They'll deny it of course say wasn't their fault but then show me a political party that will accept responsibility for its actions.

They would be far better off following the lead set by NHS Grampian.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is time for legal action to be taken against these hospitals,after all,for elderly smokers to be forced outdoors to use a perfectly legal product in very bad weather conditions must endanger their lives somewhat,how many older people have died since the smoking ban was forced onto the country. Just because someone makes a lifestyle choice to smoke they should not be forced to put themselves in Harms way.


Xopher said...

Isn't it about time that our 'betters' in Parliament used their commonsense (if they have any) and realized that the ban has caused far more deadly problems than it's supposed to have solved.
Their demands for price increases has caused poverty (oh, but they've made more tax).
They've created more isolation and death for more vulnerable people who relied on pubs for friendship and belonging.
They've promoted smoking by insisting extreme smoking cessation adverts featured on TV during most advertising breaks and insisting that smokers should no longer restrict their activity inside the four walls the people had created for their less-desirable activities.
They've made loud indications of success when reality shows a reversal of long-term trends of smoking reduction and medical interventions.
They've discouraged long established solutions to society's problems and encouraged alternative unregulated drinking and smoking and an alternative tobacco supplies.
In short, they've ignored the fact that many million people accept smoking as a part of their lives and caused far more problems for 'the people' than they've solved simply because, on a scale of 1 to 10 they're several points below incompetent.