Litter forces hospital smoke ban rethink

LITTER bugs are forcing hospital bosses to rethink its smoking policy after a clean up found 99 per cent of rubbish on site is discarded cigarette ends.

LITTER bugs are forcing hospital bosses to rethink its smoking policy after a clean up found 99 per cent of rubbish on site is discarded cigarette ends.

Currently lighting up is completely banned at the Heath Road site in an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent fires.

But the hospital is concerned that the policy is resulting in thousands of cigarettes being thrown on the ground because there are no dedicated bins, and that patients are forced to walk off the hospital site for a smoke.

Now they are calling on those who use the hospital and nearby residents for ideas of what should be done to tackle the smoking problem.

Last year firefighters had to be called to the hospital after a smoker in a cupboard caused a fire near the

dermatology clinic.

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Jan Rowsell, hospital spokeswoman, said: “We thought we should have a conversation with all our community.

“We have patient health and wellbeing to consider, and we are not encouraging smoking. But given that people do smoke we are looking at providing them with something which will give them greater dignity.”

She said that 99 per cent of the rubbish picked up during the clear up was discarded cigarettes. Pupils from St Alban's High School joined hospital chief executive Andrew Reed and Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy along with staff and other volunteers in the litter pick.

Ms Rowsell added: “It was such a phenomenal amount.

“It made us think about what we should do, because smoking in buildings is completely out of the question.

“Some patients are unable to quit, and sometimes relatives have received bad news and they feel they need to smoke, and we don't want them rushing down Heath Road.

“And for the community around, particularly the school, it isn't nice that people smoke on their roads.”

To let Ipswich Hospital know your views visit www.ipswichhospital.org.uk.

Do you think smoking should be allowed on the Ipswich Hospital site? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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