Patients 'ignore' Bristol Southmead Hospital smoking ban

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Southmead Hospital Bristol
Image caption,
Southmead Hospital is officially designated a "smoke-free" site

Patients and visitors at a Bristol hospital are routinely ignoring a site-wide smoking ban, its chief executive has said.

Andrea Young said there was a "particular problem" around Southmead Hospital's main entrance, despite staff challenging smokers.

About half put out their cigarettes when challenged, she said, but others responded in a "less positive" way.

A task force is assessing if a smoking shelter can be provided.

Southmead Hospital in north Bristol is a designated smoke-free site, in line with NHS guidelines.

But one woman, whose husband receives regular oxygen treatment for a chronic lung condition, told BBC Radio Bristol she had to wave away clouds of smoke when they attend his regular appointments.

Ms Young, chief executive of North Bristol NHS Trust, told said it was often difficult for staff to challenge patients or visitors who may already be under a lot of stress.

"We have just re-established our task force to look at smoking because we need to revisit the decision about whether we should have a smoking space for patients and their families," she said.

"Because of the nature of the things we do in our hospital, some of the trauma cases, for some people, it seems to be very very difficult for them not to have a cigarette.

"What we are doing is reviewing whether we should have a smoking shelter somewhere."

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