The British Medical Association is calling for smoking to be banned from all hospital grounds in Wales.And that’s presented as a ‘problem’ for the security staff, who are told to enforce a policy that has no basis in law , and so (quite rightly) face the ire of people worried about their loved ones and stepping out for a quick ciggie while they wait to discover just how many hospital acquired infections Aunt Gladys has picked up this time:
On the second anniversary of the ban on smoking in public places in Wales, it wants the assembly government to ensure hospitals are completely smoke free.
Currently, some Welsh NHS Trusts operate voluntary codes, which are not enforceable by any laws or fines.
Steve Jones, security manager at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, said guards had been left upset by some aggressive smokers.Good for them! That should, indeed, be the appropriate response. When did we forget that, in our headlong plunge into quiet acquiescence to pointless rules by unelected bodies?
"Patients, relatives and visitors can become verbally aggressive to staff when politely asked to move away from buildings to smoke elsewhere.
"The usual reply is 'Why?' or 'What are you going to do about it?'"
The current answer is to the ‘what are you going to do about it?’ question is, of course, ‘nothing’; so the BMA have to therefore press forward with their plans to ban smoking in the grounds, and so back up unenforceable Trust policies with the force of law.
Dr Andrew Dearden, chair of the BMA's Welsh Council, said smoke was putting people's health at risk in the very place they visit to get better.Pardon? The NHS isn’t so broken surgeons are operating in the grounds now, are they..?
"The very reason people visit hospitals is to increase their chances of getting better, not to potentially have their health threatened, by having to fight their way through clouds of cigarette smoke."
So there should be no need (with careful planning of smoking areas and adequate ventilation) for it to affect people in the hospital, should there? If you don’t want the smokers outside the front door to the hospital, provide a designated smoking area somewhere else, and you’ll find the vast majority of smokers will be more than amenable.
After all, vehicle fumes aren’t exactly the elixir of life either, and I don’t see you campaigning to ban hospital car parks from their locations, usually right outside patient’s windows.
At least, certainly not while you are coining all that lovely cash from them, anyway…