The Royal United Hospital in Bath will be joining thousands of people across the UK determined to quit smoking by going smoke free from Tuesday 1st January 2019.
It means that visitors, patients and staff will be encouraged not to smoke at the RUH or their other sites, including the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath, community birthing centres and The Riverside Clinic.
Other NHS Trusts in the South West and across the country will be smoke free too from 1st January.
Medical Director Dr Bernie Marden said: “Clean air is better for everyone – we’re clear that as a health organisation it’s the right thing for us to do. We’re proud to be going smokefree.”
While tobacco smoking will not be permitted on Trust sites, vaping will be allowed, outdoors only. Smoking shelters on hospital grounds have already been removed.
The RUH Trust signalled its commitment to going smoke free earlier this year by signing the NHS Smokefree Pledge.
Signatories acknowledge that ‘smoking places a significant additional burden on health and social care services and is impacting on the future sustainability of the NHS’.
In line with recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the Trust’s pledge will protect everyone who uses its sites from the dangers of second-hand smoke, and also create a supportive environment for those who are quitting.
The Trust’s Occupational Health team are providing support for staff to stop smoking completely or help to manage cravings while at work.
The RUH also runs the Healthy Choices initiative, which involves screening inpatients where needed, providing advice about smoking and alcohol consumption. If appropriate, the patient is referred for further support. Nicotine replacement therapies like gum and patches are also available for inpatients.
If you smoke and you have a planned admission to hospital, or are visiting someone at the hospital, you’re asked to be prepared to manage without tobacco during your stay.
You can ask your GP or pharmacist for advice on nicotine replacement therapy or e-cigarettes to take with you.