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Kent hospital to go entirely smoke-free with ban

The hospital says it wants to protect its staff, patients and visitors Photo:

The Medway NHS Trust which runs Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham is to introduce a complete smoking ban on its premises. From 17th October 2016 neither patients, visitors nor staff will be allowed to light up cigarettes - or cigars - in the hospital's buildings, grounds or car parks.

The Trust said it is working with Medway Council to provide support to help people who will be affected to stop smoking. Measures will include free nicotine replacement therapy to patients on wards, on-site support for staff and advice for visitors from Medway Council’s Stop Smoking Service.

Medway Maritime Hospital is looking at how to help staff, patients and visitors to stop smoking

“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”

– Lesley Dwyer, Chief Executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust

"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.”

– Dr Kolera Chengappa, Respiratory Consultant, Medway NHS Foundation Trust