"Smoking on site"

About: Crosshouse Hospital

(as the patient),

My son took me to the hospital for a dermatology appointment, all the staff who attended to me were lovely, so kind and caring I could not have a word to say against them.

However, I was very disappointed that I could not find a wheelchair when I needed one. I get very breathless and knew I would need a wheel chair to get from the entrance to the dermatology clinic. My son and I looked for a chair near the entrance where they are kept but could not see any. I then realized all the chairs were being used by patients who had come from different wards in their pyjamas to sit outside and smoke cigarettes.

I thought the whole site was supposed to be smoke free. I also find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that people in need, like myself, cannot use the wheelchairs provided whilst they are being occupied, not used, by patients who should not be smoking on the site.

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Responses

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Flop534,

Oh dear, I could not agree more, this is so unhelpful. You are right; NHS Ayrshire and Arran's policy is that the grounds are 'smoke free'. It is disappointing and regrettable that some people choose to ignore this and display indifference to the policy of smoke free grounds.

I am sorry that you had difficulty getting a wheelchair and getting to your appointment, I can only hope that some people reading your post will consider (for the future) how their actions can impact negatively on patients. They may experience the same thing one day.

I will flag this to the senior management team for their consideration and thank you for raising such an important point.

Best wishes,

Eunice

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Flop534,

I have given this some thought and spoken to others in an attempt to find a solution to this problem but unfortunately it is not a simple one to resolve. Staff have been met with strong language and strong resistance when attempting to prevent smoking at the front doors which creates a barrier to staff intervening.

I have had some ideas but we would not be allowed to fit sprinklers outside. I would have thought the copious amount of rain we get in Scotland would put folk off but it clearly doesn't. However, we are exploring a few thought and if we come up with a solution, I will return to this forum and let you know. It would be great to resolve this for you and the smoke-free grounds policy too.

If you (or anyone else) can come up with any workable ideas, please feel free to contact me on 01563 826222 or mailto:eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk.

Again, thank you for raising this on going issue.

Kind regards,

Eunice

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