The Royal Free has gone to great lengths to advertise its new smoke-free policy – 20 metres in fact.
That’s the size of a striking banner which has been put up on the façade of the Royal Free Hospital in Pond Street, Hampstead, to warn patients, visitors and staff that from 10 October smoking will be banned inside and outside all its buildings.
There is help on hand for those who want to give up. Camden’s stop smoking service can be contacted on 0800 10 70 401 or e-mail: email@example.com
In Barnet please call 0800 32 82 784 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop smoking services can offer nicotine replacement therapy, behavioural support and the drug Zyban which can double a smoker’s chances of giving up.
“The whole of the London NHS will go smoke free in January and we decided to implement the policy now,” said Jill Hull, assistant director, service development.
“We all know the health risks associated with smoking and it is widely felt that as a service dedicated to fighting illness, we cannot continue to condone smoking by allowing it on the site. We realise this will have a major impact on some staff and we are doing all we can to support them.”
A number of working groups were set up earlier in the year to implement the new policy, one of which is dedicated entirely to staff issues. Staff representatives and members of the public are included on these groups.
The policy will be launched at the hospital by Ken Livingstone, mayor of London.