"First breath of fresh air, full of smoke"

About: Wishaw General Hospital / Maternity care

(as a relative),

Our second daughter was born in Wishaw General hospital last week. The birth went well and my wife was discharged later that day. As we walked out the exit, a woman in front of us lit a cigarette within a step of leaving the building. The smoke was blowing inside as we left. I said something to my wife about our daughter's first breath of fresh air being full of smoke.

A worker from the hospital who was right behind us overheard me and advised me to leave a review. She pointed out that there are several signs in the area outside that stated "No smoking on hospital grounds". These signs were as far as the car park but obviously nobody pays any attention to them.

It would be interesting to know if these rules can be enforced. It seems rather pointless placing multiple signs around the entrance if everyone, staff and patients completely ignore them.

It should also be noted that the windows directly above the main entrance where people are smoking are the windows for a labour room (number 4, I think) on ward 24.

Overall we had a positive experience at Wishaw General until we left with our daughter.

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Response from Lyn Clyde, Chief Midwife / Operational Manager, Women's Services, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Lyn Clyde

Dear J-1

Thank you so much for your kind comments in regards to the care you received in the maternity unit at Wishaw General Hospital. These comments will be fed back to the staff within the unit.

I am sorry to hear of your experience on leaving the hospital due to smoking. This part will be answered by Lynne O'Hare who works in the smoking cessation department.

I hope you and your family are enjoying being at home with your new daughter.

Kind Regards


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Update posted by J-1 (a relative)

Dear Lyn,

Thanks for your response, she is a week now and settling in well. Her 19 month old sister is happy to see her and gives her kisses.

As I said earlier, we had a positive experience on the ward with both births and we'd like to say thanks to the midwives on ward 24 for their professionalism and kindness during our time there.

Kind regards.


Response from Lynne O'Hare, Health Improvement Senior, Tobacco, NHS Lanarkshire We have made a change

picture of Lynne O'Hare

Good Morning J-1

I am sorry to hear of you and your wife’s experience when leaving with your daughter and it disturbs me that your baby’s first encounter with the outside world was smoke.

NHS Lanarkshire takes this seriously and in addition to the signs you mentioned I am involved in communication of the No Smoking Policy amongst staff, patients and visitors in order to improve compliance which I am happy to provide further information on.

Those who are breaching the policy are in the minority though it has been recognised that without legislation it is difficult for hospital staff to enforce, therefore Scottish Parliament are considering the proposal to make it an offence and enforceable.

I understand your frustration, but I’m glad you took the time to share your experience. Feedback like yours helps as it raises awareness with the public which we hope will help us to change people’s attitude and behaviour to smoking on hospital grounds.

Thank you for getting in touch and I am glad to hear your daughter is doing well.

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