Fines for smoking on Sandwell Hospital grounds in new crackdown
Staff and patients will be fined for smoking outside Sandwell Hospital as part of tough measures to ban lighting up on the grounds.
Hospital bosses want to make the site ‘smoke free’ from next summer and have warned they will crackdown on those who ignore the rules.
Signs will be put up around the hospital warning patients and visitors they will face penalties if caught smoking on the grounds.
However it is not yet known how much the penalties will be.
Traditionally, patients and visitors have been able to smoke outside hospital entrances but Sandwell NHS chiefs are keen to put a stop to this due to health concerns.
Fines will also apply to any members of staff caught smoking.
The use of e-cigarettes will be banned inside the hospital an in doorways but will still be permitted within the grounds.
The trust which runs Sandwell General had planned to go smoke free to coincide with the opening of the new Midland Metropolitan Hospital but with the crisis-hit facility now delayed until at least 2022 they have decided they do not want to wait until then.
The trust board are set to consider the proposals for a ban starting in July 2019.
A report said there was an ‘expectation’ from Public Health England for hospitals to be smoke free.
It said: “Our intention was for our sites to go completely smoke free as we moved to the new hospital.
"With that move being delayed we need to consider whether we go smoke free ahead of the opening of the new hospital, how we would ‘police’ an arrangement as well as a position on vaping.”
Trust chief executive Toby Lewis said: “We will continue to invest time, care and money to supporting people in our community to quit smoking.
"We will institute a fining system for anyone, staff, patients or visitors who smoke on our sites after the now agreed date.”