"Access to smoking areas in hospital"

About: Adult mental health / Inpatient services (Acute and Intensive Care Unit)

(as the patient),

I have been amitted to hospital on several ocassions, usually for mania.

My concern is about access to smoking areas, at night. As a smoker I know that my smoking rate increases when I am manic. Equally when manic I will be up from between 4 and 3 am in the morning. Under the present policy, no access is allowed to the garden to smoke between the hours of 12pm and 6am.

I know from experience that this just result in patients smoking within the building. If this policy is maintain in the new hospital, I fear that the same thing will happen this would be a real shame.

I ask that unfettered acess to garden be given to waking patients. to avoid this, situation occuring in the new hospital, because I can guarantee it will, if the present policy is maintained.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Responses

Response from Consumer Experience and Engagement Officer, Consumer Experience and Engagement Team, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your posting. We appreciate that you have taken the time to give us feedback on your experience. This will be passed on to enable a more detailed response to be posted in the next few days.

If you would like to discuss your concerns directly with someone then please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and Complaints Team on 023 8047 5265 or e-mail: hp-tr.complaints@nhs.net

Response from Consumer Experience and Engagement Officer, Consumer Experience and Engagement Team, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Your concerns have since been fowarded to the Southampton Area Manager for Adult Mental Health who has provided the following response:

Obviously we have to abide by the law with regards to smoking in public places which includes smoking in hospitals. However, as a mental health unit we have looked at this situation and fully understand the problem smokers have when unwell. The current facility allows smokers to go into the garden during the daytime but as the garden is two floors below the wards we cannot allow patients to go there unsupervised at night.

The new hospital, Antelope House, replaces the unit in question with effect from 14 June 2010. There will be smoking area in the garden which is directly off the patients' lounge. This will enable staff to take a much more flexible approach to this issue in the future.