We have come to the conclusion, as have a number of other hospitals, that although we cannot and do not support smoking in healthcare and the impact it has on public health, what we do need to do is respect people's privacy and dignity and provide somewhere if they really are going to smoke.And even better, from the trust's chief executive:
UHBristol chief executive, Robert Woolley, said: 'We would rather conserve the dignity and the health of patients than the smokefree initiative.'Someone had to disagree of course:
Regional director of public health and Smokefree South West spokesman, Gabriel Scally, said he felt the proposals for smoking shelters were bad news. He said: 'I would regard that as very disappointing. I would not see that as the way forward.
'The NHS and its premises should be completely smoke free.This is our health service and I don't believe that people should be damaging their health in this particular way with the help of the NHS. That's not what people pay their taxes for.'But even Cecilia Farren of South West ASH recognises a 'terrible dilemma', and that the alternative is 'people standing about smoking outside hospitals'. If that means somebody in ASH recognises that smokers' health and dignity must be protected in spite of their choices, then we might be making some progress.