Tayside and Central Scotland

Ninewells Hospital 'fresh air' garden closed due to smokers

Ninewells
Image caption Later this year it will be made illegal to smoke within 15 metres of a hospital building

NHS Tayside has temporarily restricted access to the fresh air garden at Ninewells Hospital to promote its no smoking policy.

It says it regularly receives complaints from patients, visitors and staff about smokers on hospital grounds.

To discourage smoking the fresh air garden has been cordoned off for four weeks.

During the closure period staff are monitoring the area.

NHS Tayside's Quit Your Way services have been taking part in "walkabouts" to offer advice to smokers on where people can seek support to refrain from smoking while in hospital grounds.

'Positive feedback'

NHS Tayside's smoking policy now allows the use of e-cigarettes in hospital grounds but they remain prohibited in buildings and enclosed spaces.

Later this year it will be made illegal to smoke within 15m (49ft) of a hospital building.

Andrew Radley, public health consultant for NHS Tayside, said: "Since the temporary cordon was installed, we have already received positive feedback from patients and staff about the smoke-free environment they now experience coming in to the hospital.

"We hope that this temporary closure will help make people more aware of our No Smoking Policy and how they can support it.

"We understand that it can be hard to go without a cigarette, particularly at stressful times, however the NHS exists to make everyone's health as good as possible."

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