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Hospitals get tough on smokers
9:41am Friday 12th October 2012 in News
A NORTH-EAST hospital trust will today launch a campaign to persuade hard-core smokers to stub it out while in, or outside, NHS premises.
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Darlington Memorial Hospital, Bishop Auckland General Hospital and the University Hospital of North Durham, went smokefree six years ago.
But the trust – which spends nearly £12m a year treating smoking-related diseases – has had problems persuading a minority of smokers not to lightup outside hospital entrances.
Now, on the sixth anniversary of the trust-wide ban, hospital bosses are launching a more intensive campaign to dissuade people from smoking.
The trust has introduced “Fresher, Cleaner, Healthier, Greener” signs on lamp-posts, walls, floors and windows across each hospital site.
Staff have been given new guidance on how to approach those who persist in smoking on NHS premises and they will ask smokers to stub it out or leave the site altogether.
Darcy Brown, the trust’s health improvement lead for tobacco, said: “Since all NHS buildings became smoke-free in 2006, most patients and visitors are happy not to smoke anywhere on site.
“However, our smoke-free policy has been difficult to enforce in hospital grounds and we still get a minority of smokers who continue to light up, particularly around hospital entrances.
“Patients, visitors and staff all pass through the smoke in these areas.”
The trust’s stop smoking service has helped more than 52,000 people to quit smoking since 1999. Staff, patients and visitors can make use of the free service by calling 0800-011- 3405 or emailing cdda-tr.stop firstname.lastname@example.org