Bedford Hospital is smoke free from 1/4/19  Image: Wikicommons

Ban includes e-cigarettes and vapes

Bedford Hospital NHS Trust will become smoke-free from 1st April, 2019. This means that all staff, patients and visitors are not allowed to smoke (this includes tobacco products and e-cigarettes/vapes) anywhere on hospital grounds. This includes both South Wing and Gilbert Hitchcock House on Kimbolton Road. The smoking shelter near to the A&E entrance will also be removed.

The Trust’s action is part of its drive to creating a healthier and cleaner environment for everyone who works or attends the hospital.

Dr John Cooper, Consultant Cardiologist at Bedford Hospital said:

“Clean, fresh air is a better environment for everyone so as a health organisation, going smoke-free is absolutely the right thing for us to do.”

The Trust said that it fully understands that that this is a significant change for some staff, patients and visitors. But adds that this change will protect everyone who attends its sites from the dangers of second-hand smoke and can also help to develop a supportive environment for anyone who is quitting.

Stephen Conroy, Chief Executive of Bedford Hospital said:

“We accept that stopping smoking is a personal choice and we respect a person’s decision to do so but we do ask for everyone’s help to keep our sites completely smoke-free to protect others.

“If anyone is seen smoking on the hospital sites, our staff have the right to respectfully ask them to stop or to move off of the hospital grounds”.

Smokers are four times more likely to quit for good with support from the NHS. The Trust said that it is important that staff, patients and visitors feel supported and encouraged to stop smoking.

Smokefree Bedfordshire is the local Stop Smoking Service that provides support anyone who lives or works across Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.

Those wishing to stop smoking can receive help by visiting the Smokefree Bedfordshire website, emailing stopsmoking@centralbedfordshire.co.uk or by calling 0800 013 0553

The National NHS Smoking Helpline can be reached on 0300 123 1044.