"No Smoking Site"

About: Royal United Hospital

The staff are wonderful and I have nothing but admiration for their commitment to their patients - my comment is regarding the Respiratory section. But why oh why do you allow smoking outside the main entrance. It is possitively disgusting. I have had to walk through the fugg four times a day for nearly five weeks. I appreciate that it is a hospital and not a police state but why put up the signs to say no smoking and then allow it continue without any consideration for those who have to walk through it. Last night at 7.50pm there were 19 people gathered around smoking 5 right in front of the automatic doors - the smoke was seeping in making the whole of the reception area unpleasant. When walking to the bus I also noticed that one of the 'private' ambulance drivers was also smoking in his cab - surely as this is his place of work, it is illegal? Come on RUH have the courage of your convictions and stamp it out - or have a designated room for those who wish to smoke then those of us who don't will not be choked and poisoned by passive smoking.

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Response from Royal United Hospital

We welcome your comments regarding your experience at the RUH as it helps us to identify problems and improve the quality of our service and care. Thank you for your comments about the Respiratory ward at the RUH. We will forward on your comments to the staff of the Respiratory ward whom I'm sure will be very grateful for your kind words. The hospital site is a smoke free zone but, as you will appreciate, it is a very difficult job to maintain this. Despite sufficient signage at the main entrances and around site and our security staff stopping and speaking to ‘offenders’ when they are on patrol, many visitors choose to ignore the signs. The appearance of cigarette ends and litter not only adversely affects the appearance of the hospital but also the experience of those who attend, so a member of staff is employed specifically to keep the site tidy and free of cigarette ends. However, given the site is 53 acres and has many entrances, it is a continual battle throughout the day to maintain this. Bins with ash-tray tops have been removed from site to reinforce the no smoking message and have not been replaced by litter bins in ‘popular’ smoking areas to avoid the fire hazard of cigarette stubs being disposed of whilst still lit. The Trust operates a no-smoking policy throughout the site, which it tries to enforce, but has installed three smoking shelters to help keep the main entrance and other areas on site free from litter and cigarette ends. One is situated close to the main entrance but away from and out of the line of the sight of the entrance doors. Staff have been specifically instructed to not smoke outside the smoking shelters. However, if visitors and patients wilfully ignore the signs the situation can be very difficult to police, especially after hours, when staffing is minimal.

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