From 17 October 2016, Medway Maritime Hospital will become a smoke-free site. This means that from this date, all patients, visitors and staff will not be able to smoke in the buildings, hospital grounds and car parks.
The purpose of going smoke-free is to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of all patients, visitors and staff who use the hospital. The move is in keeping with many hospitals and public spaces where smoking is now no longer permitted.
As part of plans to go smoke- free the Trust is working closely with Medway Council to offer smoking cessation support to patients, visitors and staff. This will include providing free nicotine replacement therapy to patients on wards, on-site support for staff and advice for visitors from Medway Council’s Stop Smoking Service.
Lesley Dwyer, Chief Executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust comments:
“There can be no doubt that smoking has a negative impact on health and as a healthcare provider it is important that we lead by example; that’s why I and the vast majority of our staff believe that going smoke-free is absolutely the right way forward for the hospital.
“Our role is to care for people at their most vulnerable, in a safe environment. By not allowing smoking on our site we are helping to protect our patients, visitors and staff from the harmful effects of smoking.
“I do appreciate that hospitals by their very nature can be stressful places and that people may experience emotions that make them feel the need to smoke when on-site. However, I hope that the public will support this initiative and help to make the hospital a better, healthier place for all”
Dr Kolera Chengappa, Respiratory Consultant at Medway NHS Foundation Trust adds:
“As a doctor, I treat people every day who have medical conditions caused by smoking; that’s why I fully support the Trust’s plans to go smoke-free. As healthcare professionals I strongly believe we have a duty to protect our patients from breathing in harmful second-hand smoke.”
If you are a smoker and are interested in stopping, you can get free specialist support from the Medway Stop Smoking Service. To contact them call 0800 2346805 or 01634 994800 or text QUIT to 81025.