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Largest NHS trust to become ‘smoke free’ next month


On 1 October, Barts Health NHS Trust in east London is to begin an ambitious initiative to stamp out smoking among its workforce and patients.

All staff, patients and visitors at the trust’s five hospital sites will not be allowed to smoke or use electronic cigarettes anywhere on its premises, including doorways and car parks.

“Staff have been asked to play their part in making our sites smoke free”

Ian Basnett

The trust, the largest in England, said it had committed to extending smoke free areas to anywhere on its premises to create a “healthier environment” for patients, visitors and staff.

Visitors spotted smoking will be asked to extinguish the cigarette and to leave the premises should they wish to continue smoking.

Meanwhile, staff will be supported to stop smoking by self-referring online to a local NHS support group, either near to their home or close to work, said the trust.

The trust’s public health team also runs regular drop-in stop smoking clinics to encourage staff to look after their own health, as well as their patients.

Dr Ian Basnett, the trust’s director of public health, said: “Staff have been asked to play their part in making our sites smoke free by asking colleagues, visitors and patients to stop smoking, vaping or charging electronic cigarettes on trust premises.”

He called on people to “respect and support” the trust’s aims by not smoking on its grounds.

“Being in hospital is an ideal opportunity to offer people support to help them to stop smoking,” he added.

Trust staff will be encouraged to record every patient’s smoking status, advising those who smoke about the health benefits of stopping and offering inpatients Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

Patients will also be offered help to quit using NHS specialist stop smoking services. With their consent, an automatic online referral will be generated prompting their nearest local support centre to contact them directly within four days.

Barts Health NHS Trust

The stop smoking banner being displayed in Barts car parks


Readers' comments (9)

  • Our trust already has this in place. Does it make a difference? No! Staff and contractors have the sense to leave the premises. Patients and visitors continue to smoke in doorways, on car parks...I can imagine the reaction if a nurse were to ask them to desist! Nice idea, not going to work in practice - just like every single anti-smoking intiative practiced by every single hypocritical government who gets a load of taxes from smoking.
    Personally I would be more than happy to pay a few pence more on every item I buy, in order to make up the tax deficit which would occur if smoking were treated in the same way as other dangerous drug habits, and simply made illegal.

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  • I work as a CPN and our Trust is becoming "smoke free" very shortly. Their policy states that staff are not to be exposed to smoke, including in service users' homes. What a joke!! I work with patients with severe and enduring mental illness in the community, seeing them at home, and I am not exactly flavour of the month when I visit. I have worked hard to develop the best therapeutic relationship with them all, but if I asked them not to smoke in their own home they would have no hesitation in telling me exactly where to go!

    I hate smoking and do my best to discourage my patients, offering support to help them quit, and pointing out the health benefits of quitting, but I am afraid it falls on deaf ears.

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  • HCSW

    Active smokers should be denied any non acute heart operations. That would send a clear message to the public.

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  • Fortunately my trust has had the sense to allow the use of e cigs on site in designated areas. Staff have to comply with the no smoking rule, where as patients and visitors completely disregard it and absolutely nothing is done about this. This is blatant discrimination against the staff.

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  • I'm a CPN too and try to arrange my visits to certain people's houses at the end of the day. I work with the over-65s and to be fair, this age group does smoke less than the under-65s and most of them will not smoke during my visits. However the smell still clings to my clothes and hair.

    I just see this as an occupational hazard.

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  • Do they really expect staff to police the Hospital grounds and tell visitors and patients to stop smoking? It did not work in our trust after the first week when the staff decided they were not paid enough to take the abuse! Lead from the front Mr Basnett and see if you last the week!

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  • ex nurse, ex smoker. The reason I smoked was because I hated my job so much. Having a cigarette on my break was the only thing that stopped me getting in the car and driving off into the sunset, mid shift, never to be seen again.

    Maybe the NHS should instead question why it's staff are smoking in the first place?

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  • HCSW
    HCSW | 29-Sep-2015 5:38 pm

    stupid. that is not the comment of any healthcare professional!

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  • HCSW

    You are stupid. That is the comment of many healthcare professionals.

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