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When did the Trust go smoke free for patients and visitors as well as staff?

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust went completely smoke-free on 1 January 2019. You are not allowed to smoke or use e-cigarettes on any Trust property, including inside areas of the Trust boundaries (signified by a white line on the ground). E-cigarettes are also not permitted anywhere on the Trust premises.

Why did the Trust make this change?

We know that smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable ill health. Since July 2007 smoking has not been permitted inside any of our buildings, to protect the health of all people using our hospitals and grounds.

We want everyone who uses our services to be safe and to see our hospital Trust as a place that promotes good health and wellbeing. To help achieve this we made all our premises smoke-free, so that none of our patients, visitors and staff are exposed to the harmful effects of cigarette smoke..

How will patients and visitors know that UH Bristol's premises are smoke free?

There are clear signs at main entrances and around Trust premises, including painted no smoking logos on the grounds near our entrances.

Will patients, visitors and staff be able to get support when on site?

If you are a smoker then we are here to help.

If you are a patient staying at one of our  hospitals you will be asked if you smoke upon admission and  you will be offered nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), if it is suitable for you. There are many types of NRT available (such as patches, lozenges and mouth sprays) and we will help you to find the one that works for you.  You can find out more by visiting the Bristol Smokefree website.

Giving up smoking is a personal choice, but is the most important thing you can do for your health and those around you. We will respect your decision and support you to give up if you choose to. We can also provide medication to help control your withdrawal symptoms during your stay.

If you are having a planned admission to our hospitals, the best thing you can do is contact your local stop smoking service (call 0300 123 1044 to find details of your local service) or your GP and ask for NRT to take into hospital with you. That way you can start using NRT before you arrive.

If you have an unplanned admission, you can ask any nurse or doctor to give you NRT to help with your nicotine withdrawal symptoms. If you are a visitor, we ask that you do not smoke anywhere on our premises during your visit.

Further information

Who has responsibility for patients who choose to go off site to smoke?

The Trust is not liable for patients or visitors who choose to go off site to smoke. We will always offer support to abstain or quit whilst in our care and prescribe nicotine replacement therapy when required.

How will the medication patients are using be affected if they stop smoking?

Clinical staff supporting patients will be able to make the appropriate adjustments to ensure that patients get the full benefits of their usual medication as well as nicotine replacement therapy.

Will there be an identified place on any of our sites for smokers?

No.  The new policy is for all of our premises to be smoke free.  There will be support to abstain from smoking through the use of nicotine replacement therapy whilst accessing our services or to quit if that is the preference.

Will any exceptions be made to the policy?

No.  The policy applies to patients, visitors and staff on all Trust premises. Staff will support you to not smoke whilst on our premises. Reasonable adjustments may be made in exceptional circumstances (for example for a patient with whom the withdrawal of smoking is detrimental to their physical wellbeing and who cannot have nicotine replacement therapy for a medical reason).

Will e-cigarettes be allowed as part of the support to abstain from smoking on site?

No. The Trust has taken the decision to not include e-cigarettes as part of our approach to support abstaining.  The decision has been taken as there is currently insufficient evidence about their impact on health or risks associated with their usage.