Chesterfield Royal Hospital smoking ban decision expected in autumn

Smoking could be banned across the entire Chesterfield Royal Hospital site.
Smoking could be banned across the entire Chesterfield Royal Hospital site.
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A decision on whether smoking should be banned on the entire Chesterfield Royal Hospital site is expected to be made in the autumn.

Hospital bosses are currently considering the results of a public consultation on the controversial plan.

If it is given the go-ahead, patients, visitors and staff would be banned from lighting up on all of the Calow hospital’s grounds – including in entrances, car parks, courtyards and green spaces.

A Chesterfield Royal Hospital spokesman said: “We know the NHS spends around £2.7billion a year treating smoking-related health problems.

“We all know that smoking harms and kills.

“We also know that people smoke on site at Chesterfield Royal Hospital every single day.

“We have a responsibility to make the hospital grounds safe and healthier for all, so we are reviewing our no-smoking policy.”

The spokesman said all 2,000 views from the public consultation would be considered.

Since revealing the plan, the Derbyshire Times has been inundated with readers’ views on the topic.

Opinion is divided with many saying the ban should definitely be introduced – and many saying smokers’ rights should be protected.

Karen Walker said: “There’s nothing worse than walking out of hospital with a newborn baby and having to walk through all the smokers. I think it’s a great idea.”

Simon Clark, of pro-smoking pressure group Forest, said: “Behind this policy is a degree of bullying that is unacceptable in a tolerant society. People are no longer educated about the health risks of smoking. Today they are patronised, insulted and made to feel like lepers.

“The public health industry is engaged in a campaign of creeping prohibition. Banning smoking in the open air, even on hospital grounds, is a step too far.”

Meanwhile, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – which provides children’s, mental health, learning disabilities and substance misuse services across the county – has announced it is going smoke-free from March 9, 2016. From then, all staff, patients and visitors will not be allowed to smoke anywhere on the trust’s sites.

VIEWPOINT: Why there should be a complete smoking ban at Chesterfield Royal Hospital

VIEWPOINT: Why there shouldn’t be a complete smoking ban at Chesterfield Royal Hospital