Smoking shelter call at Morriston Hospital in Swansea
A health watchdog has called for a "smokers' shelter" at a hospital where a patient with broken legs discharged himself early so he could light up.
The community health council in Swansea heard that the man, a 40-a-day-smoker, was admitted to Morriston Hospital after a motorbike crash.
The hospital has a strict no-smoking policy in its grounds as well as on wards and he left two days early.
But a hospital spokeswoman said there were no plans for a smokers' shelter.
End Quote Brendan Campbell Abertawe Bro Morgannwg CHC
We have got to recognise that smoking is an addiction and to be in hospital for days without a smoke can be very stressful”
Brendan Campbell, a member of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (ABM) Community Health Council, said the man's case was an example of how patients with a craving to smoke were discharging themselves "days early" to smoke at home.
He said: "I know of one patient who discharged himself two days before his treatment was finished and another who walked out the day before he was due for discharge.
"One was being treated for broken legs after a motorbike accident and another had MRSA from a leg injury.
"They were heavy smokers on 40 a day and were expected to go cold turkey right away - it's so stressful and unfair for them."
He added: "We have got to recognise that smoking is an addiction and to be in hospital for days without a smoke can be very stressful."
A Morriston Hospital spokeswoman said: "We have a no-smoking policy for the grounds."
Meanwhile, from the beginning of May, smoking has been banned outside hospital entrances in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
Patients and staff will be allowed to smoke only in certain areas until a complete ban takes effect in November.