Kettering hospital apologises to residents unhappy with aftermath of smoking ban
Hospital bosses have apologised to residents unhappy with the consequences of smoking being banned from anywhere on the site.
Kettering General Hospital (KGH) went entirely smoke free last month as part of its plans to contribute to improved public health and well-being.
For many years smoking has not been allowed on the wards or anywhere inside its buildings by patients, visitors or staff, and smoking outside hospital buildings was restricted to smoking shelters away from hospital entrances.
But the introduction of the new smoke-free policy which does not allow smoking anywhere on its grounds, including outside hospital buildings, has upset some people living nearby.
One resident contacted the Northants Telegraph and said: “As you can see from the photos this is what residents of Windermere Road and Coniston Road are having to put up with at the rear of their properties with up to 16 nurses and staff in one half-hour period smoking.
“Not only is it the disgusting rubbish and cigarette butts left behind but the sheer amount of smoke coming over into our gardens and into our properties that we are having to put up with.”
They said they have been in contact with the hospital on a regular basis, but feel nothing is being done.
While a bag has been hung on a tree and there is a metal waste paper bin with a little water in for the cigarette butts, the residents say this is not enough.
The resident said they have been told anecodotally that there have been numerous complaints about smokers in Rothwell Road, in the bus shelters and about the mess left behind.
And they are urging hospital staff, patients and visitors to be considerate because they want to be able to ‘enjoy our gardens over the summer without the horrible smell of smoke.’
In response to their concerns, the hospital’s deputy director of human resources, Susanna Newing, said: “The trust took the step to become a smoke-free site on June 6 and we have received many positive comments supporting this decision.
“We have asked all staff, patients and visitors to respect this decision and to refrain from smoking within our grounds.
“We have also actively promoted opportunities for people to improve their health and well-being by accessing smoking cessation services.
“The trust has always recognised it would take time to embed the new arrangements and we have asked staff who do smoke to be sensitive to the wishes of local residents by not smoking near their homes or leaving any litter.
“We shall continue to reiterate this message and have asked our security staff to assist us in this in a responsible way.
“We apologise to residents who have been affected by smoking on the hospital’s boundaries and will continue to look for ways to reduce this.”
To read more about the smoking ban and why it was introduced, click here