"Smoking ban is being flouted"

About: Western General Hospital (Edinburgh)

(as a relative),

I am very disappointed to report that the smoking ban at The Western General in Edinburgh is being flouted.

Not only by visitors strolling in taking their last few puffs before entering the hospital doors - - but also by some patients and staff too.

Yesterday, apart from the usual smokers in the "E-cig only" shelter, near the exit of car park 3, -whilst sheltering from the rain, we had to endure not only 2 members of public smoking alongside us, but also a member of staff of The Western General too.

During the time these three individuals continued to smoke, the male member of the party, (dressed in hospital attire) - informed us that he was in the process of doing a "double shift" - from 06. 00 until 22. 00.

What he failed to inform us of, was that he didn't give two hoots about the smoking ban, or why he wished us to breathe in the smoke he was exhaling.

Please get government support to get enforcement officers to make everyone comply with the law.

Lots of visitors attend this hospital in order to get cured of cancer - - not be subjected to one of the main causes of this disease.

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Responses

Response from Jeannette Morrison, Head of Patient Experience, NHS Lothian

Dear Tiny Wharton

I am sorry to read about your experiences at the Western General Hospital.

We have promoted our Smokefree Policy via numerous notices, signage and posters and patients are also advised of this policy when they receive their appointment letters. We are also promoting education and training for managers and front line staff in the implementation of the policy.

The enforcement of our Smokefree Policy has proved to be particularly challenging but it has also been encouraging that many smokers do adhere to the policy and wait until they leave the grounds to smoke. I am sorry however that there are always some who chose to ignore the policy and I am sorry that was the case when you visited the hospital.

I have passed your feedback back to the team at the Western so that they can raise this again with staff.

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us.

Kind regards

Jeannette

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