"Smoking Policy (non smoker)"

About: Wansbeck Hospital

I have visited Wansbeck on several occasion and on every visit I have had to walk through numerous people/patients standing, sitting in wheelchairs or sitting on path/window ledges smoking. On a recent visit to x-ray department the revolting door at main entrance wasn't working so I had to walk through about 5 people standing/wheelchairs on ramp up to the only other available entrance. Are smoking bubbles not provided on site or are people/patients wishing to smoking intended to walk off the hospital premises. I would like to know what is the hospital smoking policy? I work in a large office complex where no one is allowed to smoke on site only in designated smoke bubbles or off site. I found it very intimidating having to walk through numerous people smoking & I do not wish to be subject to their exhaled smoke. Awaiting your response

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Response from Wansbeck Hospital

Dear Sir / Madam, I am very sorry about your recent experience, I can fully appreciate how unpleasant it was for you to walk through the entrance to the hospital as people smoked outside. We do request that all visitors and patients on all our hospital sites refrain from smoking. Despite this and numerous attempts in the past to actively manage this, we have to accept that some members of the public will ignore our requests and the signs designating our hospital premises as non smoking sites. We accept that for many doing without a cigarette at all is very difficult . Nicotine is an addiction like any other. To contain the smoke as best we can, we do have smoking shelters available. At Wansbeck this is opposite the patients entrance into A&E, on the opposite side of the road. Again we rely on members of the public using these effectively to avoid an unpleasant experience for non smokers. I appreciate this perhaps doesnt give you all the answers you'd like. We cannot justify an investment in staff to enforce behaviours when this takes away from our capacity to provide clinical care. With best wishes and apologies once again, Annie

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