Health bosses in Blackpool today claimed they are well ahead of other NHS trusts after plans to ban smoking on hospital grounds were revealed.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has said all hospitals should scrap smoking shelters, stop helping patients get out of their beds to go for a cigarette and instead offer them advice to help them quit.
But at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, bosses say shelters were removed in 2007 to make the site smoke free.
Public health facilitator at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Rachel Swindells, said: “Smoking puts patients at risk of complications and delays their recovery.
“By providing a fully smoke-free hospital we remove the triggers that cause many to smoke or relapse to smoking.
“Smoking at entrances to buildings can cause smoke to drift in through doors thereby continuing to be a health hazard.”
The Trust’s Public Health Team has worked with Public Health Blackpool for several years on tackling smoking at The Vic.
Already it displays smoke-free signs across the, has developed a DVD to increase staff confidence in approaching and speaking to people who are smoking on site and raising awareness of the tobacco work being implemented at the Trust.
Next year the hospital will launch the UK’s first all-volunteer Smoking Warden Service to advise people who light up on site.