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Going smokefree was to protect patients at Vic

Pictured at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, from left, Claire Jones and Chris Lewis (tobacco liaison specialists) with Rachel Swindells (public health facilitator).

Pictured at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, from left, Claire Jones and Chris Lewis (tobacco liaison specialists) with Rachel Swindells (public health facilitator).

The number of people caught smoking in the grounds of Blackpool Victoria Hospital has more than halved in the past two years, it was claimed today.

The site on Whinney Heys Road went smokefree in 2007, and in 2012 staff started carrying out a survey of smokers caught lighting up on site.

The first survey found 43 people smoking outside the hospital.

By the end of last year 19 people were stopped and 
spoken to for lighting up on site.

The Vic’s public health facilitator, Rachel Swindells, said: “We’ve done another one this year and although the numbers haven’t been added up yet we know it was less than 19.

“It’s a huge difference from where we were five years ago.

“We do a walking audit of the site every two months and literally count the number of smokers on site.

“We go out at five points throughout the day – the same times each time we do it.”

Chris Lewis, tobacco liaison specialist at The Vic, also helps conduct the regular survey.

He said: “I think people are getting the message but there are always going to be the serial offenders. The majority of people we speak to have genuinely forgotten and have walked into the hospital grounds still smoking.”

The team has done such a good job of reducing smoking on site members have been asked to speak at presentations across the country to encourage other hospital trusts to go smokefree.

Ms Swindells and Mr Lewis, as well as tobacco liaison specialist Claire Jones are also due to speak in Scotland ahead of a new law being imposed banning smoking on hospital sites.

 

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