I remember one of the earliest battles with 'Hospital Trust' management was conducted with some buffoon at the Great Western Hospital (Swindon) as they were adamant that as smoking was now banned indoors they could simply ban it outdoors, in the open air where ther are no buildings! For some weird reason, hospitals had decided that they were the new law makers-yeah, 'right wierd that!'
Note here that it was "the bosses" who imposed the outdoor smoking ban not a majority of the 649 sheep who sit in Westminster fiddling whatever expenses deem suitable to be fiddled. Despite numerous letters of protest to "the bosses", they ignored the illegality of their actions and even went so far as to employ a brace of 'flat-footed-turkeys' to waddle around the hospital grounds badgering smokers to remove themselves. It wasn't long before the 'flatfeet' reported they were being threatened, ignored or both! More to the point, if they only paid this pair £250 per week each then the Great Western were depriving their patients of £26,000 of health care every year!Bosses at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon imposed a smoking ban on the site last year.
We had many other instances at other regional hospitals but now they are seeing the light and reversing their previous pompous, high & mighty decisions and paying for smoking shelters in the hope that smokers will at least stay away from the main entrances. Although a non smoker I am very happy to say that after much wrangling & letter writing, Leicester Royal Infirmary has also revised its exterior smoking policy and that there is now a smoking shelter at the bottom of the slope leading to the main entrance-at least some smokers are respecting this move. But it is part of the wrangling that brings to mind an event a couple of years ago when I was supporting a friend who was undergoing chemotherapy-and you really have to sit down and try to grasp what was said on that day:-
Envisage the scene if you will..... first lot of fluids through the tubes, 10 minute break and so out onto the balcony for a cigarette, with 'drip stand'-yes, cancer patients still enjoy their fags. Anyway, half way through this gloriously stress relieving smoke a nurse comes out of a doorway about 40ft away and her face told you that trouble was looming.
(N) "Put out that cigarette - NOW!" (she wasn't very polite)
Pardon? (We were the epitome of politeness)
(N) "Put out that cigerette immediately, this is a no smoking hospital you are breaking the law!"
Wrong lady, totally wrong, go and check your facts.
(N) "This is a smoke free hospital therefore you are not allowed to smoke out here, you are upsetting my patients" (I looked all around me at the empty balcony-approx 12ft wide x 70ft long)
Sweetheart, go away before you embarass yourself (looking round again), there are no patients out here, this is part of the exterior of the hospital - look, that's inside the hospital and this is outside the hospital, that's why we have doors!
(N) "Your smoke is bothering my patients, it's coming in through the windows and choking them, put those evil things out immediately!"
(This was becoming hilarious) Would all your patients be behind those windows that are shut tight, because it is a cold miserable day and you wouldn't want your patients to get a chill? There are no beds or patients out here [looking pointedly up and down the balcony]. And if you watch closely the smoke is going directly up into the air and away from the building, that's because today we have a bit of an easterly wind! Now be a good girl and run along back to your ward and leave us alone.
(N) "I shall report you to....I cut her off at that point and told her she could report me to the Illinois National Guard if she so desired but on this occasion she was totally wrong so she'd best shut up and go play with her patients-that didn't go down very well at all I must say!
(N) "You're a disgusting person, those stinking things will kill you. My gradma died last year. 96 she was, smoked all her life but it killed her in the end"
Ah, so that's it, your grandma died and she smoked. Was she a disgusting person? (She started to go a deep, angry red) I don't suppose her death had anything to do with old age then? it had to be the fags! You see girl, you're just another product of the disgraceful indoctrination that has surrounded this smoking furore, just another 'force fed puppet' of ASH.
(N) "ASH? Who or what are ASH"
My friend lit another cigarette and turned his back on her after that idiotic question and I simply waved her away. Nobody came to forcibly remove us, nobody else bothered themselves with two males, a drip trolley and a cigarette.
A couple of weeks ago I was told about the new smoking shelter at the bottom of the slope and smiled quietly to myself for I wondered what our eager young nurse would have to say about that! Interestingly the tannoy system placed directly above the entrance door is still spouting misinformation for the lady monotonously tells us every minute or so ":
"Welcome to Leicester hospital. You are on NHS property and it is against the law to smoke in this area..........."You see, they cannot resist trying to enforce their will upon those who choose to smoke and I shall be writing to the new CEO forthwith and pointing this out . Do you see how they always feel the need to emphasise their position by telling outright lies?
Happily, yet another regional hospital has bowed to the inevitable and have decided that three brand new smoking shelters are to be built on the grounds-at a ridiculous cost of £17,000! Quite where the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn are buying these shelters from I do not know but at £5,666.66 each they must be something special!
When you read the newspaper article spare a moment to read Martin Dockrell's comments-and then re read
“Without doubt, the ideal from a health point of view would be to have no smoking in hospital grounds at all but the top priority for any smokefree rules is to protect people from secondhand smoke"Despite there being not one single, solitary death recorded from SHS, Dockrell still relentlessly bangs the drum about SHS killing swathes of people nationwide-what a plonker!
“If patients with asthma, heart conditions or at risk of a stroke are having to walk through clouds of smoke at the hospital entrance, the hospital management have to tackle that urgently"."Clouds of smoke...!" This would be the odd wisps that immediately aim themselves skyward-up and away from smokers & non smokers alike. More emphasis on bullshit speak.
“The second priority should be to help smokers who want to quit. Providing patients and visitors with a little advice and enough nicotine gum or patches is the best way to help them manage their cravings and it might even show them that quitting might be easier than they think.”".....smokers who want to quit..." more damnation of the complete waste of public money on that excercise known as "Stoptober" where supposedly millions of people suddenly threw away their beloved, calming, relaxational and enjoyable cigarettes to become part of the hate mongering culture we now breed.
"Providing a little advice and enough nicotine gum or patches..."-yeah, righty ho then, let's fill the people full of kidology by telling them that if they use enough NRT, even with its 98.4% FAILURE rate, they will become part of the cherished brethren-non smokers. The bullshit from this man and his cronies is seemingly endless, they still believe that after 5 years of non stop badgering, there are people lining up to quit smoking-dear oh dear me! He doesn't sound 1/10th as convinced of his position as he did five years ago! This is the mob that fully advocated the use of a drug that wasn't fully tested - but to be fair it worked, as smokers killed themselves after taking Chantix!
The answer is simple my friends, the WHO have decided that tobacco needs to be eradicated-that's all it is!