So, in a bid to really help smokers quit, NHS Trusts are lining up to promote abstinence or repeatedly failed NRT products. Vapers are being told they can’t vape, and smokers are not being offered it as a means to switch to something over 95% less harmful.
“One area where policy and practice have singularly failed to achieve their potential, and that is in helping our patients who smoke to quit,” begins the RCP report.”
At the time, Dr. Sanjay Agrawal, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust commented: “This is an ‘open goal’ for the NHS. We can save lives and save money by applying simple effective treatments in the same way that we do for millions of other patients - these treatments are very low cost. The changes would be pretty straightforward to make and we would start reaping the benefits in the first year, taking some of the strain off the NHS.”
But other Trusts aren’t listening.
Western Trust said: “Today we launched our revised smokefree policy. We encourage a healthier lifestyle for the public, patients and staff, and smoking on Trust grounds is not part of this. The policy has been amended to reflect comments/complaints from patients, staff and visitors.”
Since when was ‘not liking’ something an acceptable form of health policy over assessing evidence and follwing expert advice?
“We should allow e-cigarettes to be used on NHS sites to support smokers to remain smoke-free and help to sustain smoke-free policies” - RCP
Along with the new ‘no vaping’ policy, other main additions includes instructing NHS staff to “request carers/service users who smoke, to refrain from smoking an hour before the scheduled visit.”
So, not just banning vaping, but instructing people not employed by the Trust what to do in their own time. On top of this, the Trust has warned that members of staff that do not follow this ridiculous new approach “may face disciplinary action.”
Dr Dermot Hughes, Medical Director for the Western Trust said: “Every Western Trust employee has a responsibility to ensure compliance with and implementation of the Smokefree policy. Staff should take pride in working in a smokefree environment.”
Dr Hughes declined our request to provide a direct comment on Western Trust’s actions in relation to the RCP paper. Royal Free London and Milton Keynes University Hospital were also approached for comment but declined.