Local hospitals have introduced a tannoy system to deter people
smoking close to main entrances.
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust became
'smoke-free' in 2007 introducing a no smoking policy across all of
its sites including Darlington Memorial Hospital and University
Hospital of North Durham.
The Trust has put up prominent 'No smoking' signage across its
buildings and grounds but unfortunately this does not deter all
smokers from lighting up just outside the main entrance areas and
the entrances to the emergency departments - including the access
areas where ambulances are arriving to bring patients into
Lee Mack, Head of Health Improvement at County Durham and
Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, says, "If a member of the public
or staff sees someone smoking, they can report this at
reception. Staff can then activate a voice message which can
be heard loud and clear, asking smokers to extinguish their
"We've introduced the system because it's vital we take
every possible step to discourage smoking. Patients and visitors,
including new born babies and those arriving via ambulance, often
have to pass through cigarette smoke at our hospital entrances,
which is totally unacceptable.
"Our goal is to have smoke free sites, and the ability to
broadcast these messages is a crucial step towards this. One in two
smokers will die early from a smoking related illness and the north
east region has set a goal of less than one in twenty people
smoking by 2025."
Patients needing support during their hospital stay can be given
nicotine replacement therapy and those wishing to stop smoking can
get expert help from the Stop Smoking Service by contacting 0800
011 3405. Smokers using this service are four times more
likely to succeed than those who try to quit without support."
'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly,
efficiently and professionally with full explanations and
compassion from all staff involved'.
Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital