"Staff smoking on hospital grounds"

About: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Maternity care

(as the patient),

Had an appointment at QEUH today and passed a total of seven staff members in uniform smoking on hospital grounds on my way from the car park outside the neurorehab unit on my way to the maternity building (a short journey) on foot. Three of the staff members were nursing staff. Totally unacceptable when the grounds are supposed to be smoke free

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Response from Lisa Ramsay, Patient Experience Public Involvement Team Support, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Dear horrified patient

Thank you for taking the time to post on Patient Opinion. As you say, all hospital grounds are smoke free and what you witnessed is not acceptable.

I will share your feedback with senior colleagues in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and ask them to provide a further response to your feedback.

Best wishes

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Response from Lisa Ramsay, Patient Experience Public Involvement Team Support, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Dear Horrified patient

I was very sorry to read that you have witnessed several staff smoking within the hospital grounds. As you are aware, smoking on hospital grounds is not acceptable and directly contravenes NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's policy; however, there are unfortunately a number of challenges in enforcing this that are inherent across the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus, and indeed our other sites.

Despite clear signage, throughout each hospital, the issuing of guidance notes and smoke detectors on some of our sites, we have not been able to fully prevent smoking at hospital entrances or within our grounds.

Our Facilities Department regularly carry out ad hoc patrols in various areas throughout the hospital to ask smokers to refrain from doing so. This has unfortunately met with limited success as, while a number of people co-operate when asked, regrettably, the majority of people do not, and in some cases have demonstrated threatening behaviour.

Despite the efforts above, we still encounter challenges with people smoking, which confirms the difficulties we have encountered in trying to enforce the policy. I hope you will be reassured that we share your concerns and that we will continue to explore alternative options which will allow us to manage the very difficult issue of smoking on hospital sites.

One option that we are currently exploring is an idea that has been launched in one England’s NHS Trusts and one in Wales, and we are considering its value. The idea is through a media campaign it would raise awareness of our smokefree grounds and also give people I.e. patients, visitors and in particular staff the opportunity to push a button which relays a voice recorded message to the smoker rather than having to approach the smoker themselves.

I trust that this information is of value to you.

Kind regards
David Macdonald, Facilities Manager

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