City hospital gives smokers green light

Eight designated smoking areas have been installed at the Lincoln County Hospital, four years after the introduction of a smoke-free policy at the site.

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) says this is aimed at preventing people from smoking outside hospital entrances.

This has apparently been a problem in the past and has caused concern for other staff, patients and visitors over the safety of smokers.

The eight smoking areas are in the vicinity (although not near the doors) of the maternity wing, A&E, physiotherapy and endoscopy.

Starting Monday, the Trust says anyone smoking outside of the designated areas is likely to be asked to move to a designated area.

Mike Speakman, Director of Estates and Facilities for ULHT, said the designated smoking areas should mean that the hospital entrances are kept clean and clear:

“We are creating these designated smoking areas to ensure that patients, visitors and staff are not subject to second-hand smoke upon entering and leaving our hospitals.

“Whilst we would like people not to smoke at all in our hospital grounds, this hasn’t been effective in practice.

“We are changing our policy so that, instead of our sites being completely smoke free, we only allow smoking in designated areas outside.

“We have put up signage to demonstrate where smoking is permitted and will be enforcing the new regulations at every opportunity.

“We hope we can significantly improve the experience of people visiting our sites, who are affected by other people’s smoke.”

Source: ULHT | Photo: James Cockshaw | Related Reports: BBC Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire Echo