Sherwood Forest Hospitals aims for smoke-free sites
January 4, 2017
Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust is pledging to make its sites truly smoke-free in 2017.
The Trust is teaming up with Ashfield District Council community protection officers (CPOs), who will begin patrolling the site as part of a drive to improve the health and wellbeing of patients, visitors and staff.
As well as urging people not to light up, patrols will give advice about quitting, talk to people about littering and issue fines to repeat offenders.
All Sherwood Forest Hospital (SFH) sites (inside and outside at King’s Mill, Newark and Mansfield Community Hospitals) are officially smoke-free but smoking and litter from cigarettes has remained a problem, particularly near main entrances.
Chair of Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust, Peter Marks said: “We have been working for some time to make our hospitals smoke-free, but people are still smoking, especially in front of the main building at King’s Mill and outside our Emergency Department.
“We want to make our hospitals healthy and safe environments, so we are asking patients, visitors and staff to be mindful of others health and not to smoke on our sites to protect others against the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.”
Cllr. Jim Aspinall, Ashfield District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing added: “It is encouraging to be working in partnership with Sherwood Forest Hospitals to help people to quit smoking. This is the time of year when many try to give up, so additional support can only help to achieve these goals.
“The Council is conscious that health and wellbeing is a major contributing factor to achieving a vibrant place to live and is very supportive of schemes such as this, which contribute to the health and happiness of our residents.”
Sherwood Forest Hospitals Public Governor, Debra Barlow, who had a double lung transplant last year said: “People really do need to be mindful of others when they think about smoking outside the front entrance of the hospital. I have to visit the hospital for regular check-ups and having to walk through smoke to get to the entrance is really quite distressing for me, as I am sure it is for others who don’t want to breathe in people’s smoke. Having had a double lung transplant, it’s even more important for me to look after my lungs and make sure I am not inhaling damaging smoke.
“I remember coming into King’s Mill with an oxygen tank, it was hard enough to breathe with the aid of oxygen, without having to navigate through the smoke as I approached the front doors. There’s very clear signage right outside the main buildings saying that it is a smoke-free site and people should be respectful of this and smoke well away from the hospital. I am really pleased that the Trust is taking some preventative action. It’s my choice not to smoke and I’d thank other people to be respectful of that, especially in a hospital environment.”
Chair of Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust, Peter Marks added: “As well as teaming up with Ashfield District Council’s CPOs to help us enforce our policy, we are also working with Smokefreelife Nottinghamshire, which provides a dedicated stop smoking clinic at King’s Mill, to help people quit.
“I would urge people to use this service if they want help to quit smoking.”