Thursday, 4 July 2013

'Trust promises they will abide by the result of the vote', but Royal Bolton goes back on promise to build shelters

Going back on a decision that even an Action on Smoking and Health spokeswoman described as the 'lesser of two evils', trustees of the Royal Bolton Hospital have gone back on a promise to abide by the results of a poll held by the Bolton News to establish whether there was popular demand for the return of smoking shelters.

There were 1,629 votes to bring back the shelters, 49 more than the opposing side. Disquiet was caused by the revelation that shelters were ordered weeks before the vote took place, giving the impression that the vote itself was just window-dressing (which is frequently the case in smoking issues but with the vote going the other way).

Apparently in Bolton all the concern that smokers were needlessly blocking entrances to the hospital has come to nothing. A growing awareness that you cannot legislate smoking in the open air matters little. The prospect of allowing visitors, patients (wheelchairs, drips and all) and staff somewhere even minimally sheltered to smoke weighs nothing against the compulsion to simply get rid of the smoke. The medical director of the Trust said:
'We have just undertaken the exercise but having reflected on that and heard a lot of views, we feel perhaps we need to look at this in a different way and stand shoulder to shoulder with our public health colleagues.'
All that now matters is that the trust is seen not to condone smoking. Ironic that the public health community is referred to in this context, when even ASH gave qualified support to the proposal to build shelters in view of the numbers smoking outside.

There is no 'perhaps we need to look at this in a different way'. The Trust made a promise, published by the Bolton News. To say after the fact that 'we could not ignore the other people who voted against it because it was so close' is not a little insulting to the people whose votes are to be ignored – as so often – namely smokers and their supporters in the general public. The authoritarian approach prevails: 'Smoking is not allowed on site and the key is to enforce the ban,' says Cllr Andy Morgan. Well, good luck with that one.

The Trust should be ashamed of itself.

(Poll result shown here)


Junican said...

Perhaps you missed this statement by Dr Bene:
“There was significant concern in both camps and there was a subsequent ballot calling for us to overturn the decision."
I wonder where and when that subsequent ballot took place? It was certainly not among the public.
In the detailed ballot figures released by the Bolton news, it was said that there had been a separate poll conducted by the hospital where the vote went about 200 against the shelter and 50 for. I rather suspect that it was this 'secret' vote to which the doctor was referring.
I have been reading the comments on the News article which revealed the u-turn. The number of comments in favour of the u-turn is very small. I should imagine that even those who voted against the shelters are very disturbed by the u-turn.
But it isn't just a u-turn is it? It is a revelation that 'Public Health' is fascist in its nature. It exercises power without restraint and with impunity. It ignores common decencies like providing some sort of cover against the elements for people that it has forced outside. It employs 'thugs' to police its illicit demands. And all to support a policy with no scientific basis (SHS harm).
The Bolton News should itself be very concerned about the fascist tendency which is in control of Public Health, as should every right-thinking person.
It must be brought to an end.

selsey.steve said...

My wife works in a local hospital where there are signs 'forbidding' smoking anywhere on site. A couple of times a week I take the contents of my ashtrays, in a plastic bag, to the hospital and scatter the contents in several different locations.
My wife brings home the numerous e-mailed internal memos about this, all of which ask for information as to just who the smokers are.
It's fun to mess with the bansturbators minds!