"Smoking at William Harvey Hospital"

About: William Harvey Hospital / Paediatrics

(as a parent/guardian),

We have had all of our three children at William Harvey Hospital. All three have had conditions requiring extended stays in hospital and we cannot fault the professionalism and care given by the staff there. However despite 'proud' signs declaring the hospital smoke free there are still numerous people smoking on the common walkways from the car park and around hospital entrances. The smell of this even finds its way inside.

I do not like walking through this myself and I particularly do not want my children subject to it. Our third child was born was respiratory problems and I find it absolutely disgraceful that we have to subject her to this filth every time we have to visit hospital which is quite regular due to her conditions.

It is quite clear that the NHS is not able to stop smoking completely on their sites. Would it not be possible for the smokers to be provided with an area well away from the common walking routes and entrances for them to feed their habit? Then this should be ‘policed’ to ensure those of us not wishing to breath in their toxins are not subject to it.

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Responses

Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for providing us with feedback and I really do understand your concern. It is indeed difficult for us to enforce the no smoking policy at all times and have asked our security colleagues to support staff when challenging people about smoking outside our hospitals.

We have considered an option of providing smoking areas well away from the front entrance but were discouraged by public health colleagues who preferred to stick to the no smoking policy. I will raise this as a discussion point again amongst my executive director colleagues and with the local authority public health colleagues.

Thank you again for raising your concerns.

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Update posted by WWF (a parent/guardian)

Many thanks for your reply. I hope you don't mind me quoting from what you wrote and giving some feedback on it:

"[we] have asked our security colleagues to support staff when challenging people about smoking outside our hospitals" - this is clearly not working. I do not ever remember visiting the hospital without having to walk past people who were smoking.

"We have considered an option of providing smoking areas well away from the front entrance but were discouraged by public health colleagues who preferred to stick to the no smoking policy" - I appreciate there is a no smoking policy but this is clearly not working either so surely you have to think of an alternative solution such as a smoking area away from the main walkways?

I have had to visit the hospital twice since my original post with our baby girl for follow up treatment and tests and once again I cannot fault the care we receive at the hospital. On both occasions we have had to walk past smokers to enter the hospital. As I originally mentioned, our little girl has respiratory problems and this is not acceptable to have to take her past this filth.

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