Medway Maritime Hospital has become the latest healthcare provider to officially introduce a universal smoking ban, the trust that runs it has announced.
Since Monday, all patients, visitors and staff have been prohibited from smoking in the buildings, hospital grounds and car parks, said Medway NHS Foundation Trust.
“We’re delighted to have finally reached this important milestone”
It noted that move was “in keeping” with other hospitals around the country and was designed to “protect and improve” the health and wellbeing of all patients, visitors and staff.
Over recent months, the trust has been working closely with Medway Council to offer smoking cessation support to patients, visitors and staff.
This has included providing free nicotine replacement therapy to patients on wards, on-site support for staff and advice for visitors from the council’s smoking cessation service.
In addition, the trust has staged a number of special training sessions for staff wanting to become “smoke-free champions” to help enforce the ban.
Diana Hamilton-Fairley, the trust’s medical director, said: “We’re delighted to have finally reached this important milestone in becoming a smoke-free site.
“As the only hospital in the area, it is imperative that we set the right example by encouraging our patients, staff and visitors to adopt a healthier lifestyle,” she said.