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"The no smoking policy is not enforced."

About: Royal Oldham Hospital

What could be improved

I have found it completely unacceptable, when visiting an elderly relative on several occasions. That I am forced to pass through, at the main entrance to the wards. A throng of patients, visitors, staff etc who insist on smoking outside this entrance. I was under the impression that the hospital operated a "No Smoking" policy. Which is not only policy, but also law!! And yet despit clear and large signs displayed showing this prohibtion, the practice is allowed to continue without intervention nor prevention by either staff or security, why is this?????

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Response from Royal Oldham Hospital

Thank-you for your comments regarding smoking outside hospital entrances.

The Chief Executive of Pennine Acute Trust recently commented on this issue and said: “While the national smoking ban inside buildings is widely understood and adhered to, it is incredibly difficult to enforce the policy of no smoking in the grounds of the hospital. We certainly do not wish to place our staff at risk of potential abuse or injury when tackling the very emotive issue of people smoking at hospital entrances or in hospital grounds”.

Earlier this year the Trust lobbied parliament for a change in the law to extend the current no smoking legislation to include hospital grounds. In addition, the Trust has written to local MPs, Primary Care Trusts and Local Authorities to support action to deal with this issue.

In the meantime, I will forward your comments to the appropriate manager in our Facilities Department for her attention.

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