"Dirty environment just at hospital doors"

About: Crosshouse Hospital

(as the patient),

The Main Entrance to this hospital (Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock) is littered with cigarette ends and chewing gum. It is absolutely disgusting. There are signs everywhere confirming that the entire hospital is a no smoking area, yet patients are still sitting outside in their wheelchairs smoking away. Not a very inspiring entrance to the hospital.

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Response from NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Dear beagsie,

Our grounds staff clean the entrance doors areas on a daily basis and continue to be proactive in attempting to ensure the area is as clean as possible. I am sorry that this was not up to your expected standard. We will keep an eye on it though. Thank for raising this with us,

Kind regards,

J. Gillan

Head of Clinical Support Services - East

Department of Corporate Support Services

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Response from NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Dear beagsie,

Thank you for raising your concern regarding smoking on NHS grounds. This has been passed onto myself as chair of the Smoke Free Grounds Policy Group to respond to.

In line with Scottish Government requirements we moved to smoke free grounds at the end of March 2015, after a considerable amount of engagement on the policy, implementation etc. As a health board we had already been planning to move to smoke free grounds, however this directive gave us a definitive date. This action forms part of the Government’s approach to achieving a smoke free Scotland and a *prevalence of 5% or less of people smoking in Scotland (currently the average prevalence is 23%).

On the whole, compliance has been fair and we have seen a significant difference in numbers who are smoking on our grounds, however as you rightly point out – there continue to be breaches. As there is no legislation in relation to smoking on NHS grounds there are no sanctions we can bring to patients or visitors who smoke on our grounds. All staff are encouraged to speak to those who are breaching the policy, but not all staff feel comfortable in doing so. We are currently providing training sessions for staff in relation to this policy.

There is a health bill going through parliament at the moment, which may bring in legislation and fines in relation to smoking on NHS grounds, however this is unlikely to be for some time.

In the meantime, we continue closely monitor compliance and use internal communications systems and the local media to reinforce the importance of complying with our policy. We are currently drafting new signage which is very clear that wheelchairs are not to be used by smokers.

I completely understand your concerns, however I wish to provide you with reassurance that this is a priority for the Corporate Management Team and NHS Board, and the Smoke Free Grounds Policy Group will continue to report to them regularly in relation to the policy.

Please get in touch if you wish to discuss further, on the number below.

* (The prevalence is the frequency that something occurs in the general population)

Elaine Young

Assistant Director of Public Health

Secretary (01292 885895/ Ext 15895)

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Update posted by beagsie (the patient)

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I fully appreciate the difficulties involved in trying to deal with this problem. Power washing the pavement around the entrance to get rid of chewing gum might help.


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 beagsie,

Unfortunately we don't think we can get a water supply close enough to enable the area to be power washed but we will endeavour to see what we can do.

Thank you for your suggestion, we are happy to hear all thoughts on all maters,

Best wishes,


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