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”
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.