A loud speaker system voiced by young patients from Tayside Children’s Hospital was launched to promote NHS Tayside’s no smoking policy.
The new system is based at the entrance of Ninewells and aims to encourage people to stop smoking on the site. If anyone sees someone smoking at the entrance, staff and members of the public can now push a blue button to play a no smoking message over the loudspeaker.
The messages were recorded by three local children who have all previously been treated in the children’s hospital – 10-year-old Daisy Heenan from Abernethy, nine-year-old Ava Ross from Dundee and 12-year-old Jack Martin from Dundee.
Ava, Daisy and Jack joined their families to officially launch the new speaker system yesterday (Tuesday), where Chief Executive Grant Archibald thanked them for taking part in the project. Ava, Daisy and Jack were also given book vouchers as a thank you for all their efforts.
Jack said he wanted to remind people how important it was not to smoke on hospital grounds. He said, “There are lots of sick people who have to go in and out of the hospital and I think they deserve to breathe fresh air. I hope people will listen to our messages.”
Daisy added, “I hope that when people hear that smoking outside the hospital could make sick kids feel more unwell, it will make them think twice about where they smoke.”
Ava said, “I hope people use the new button and listen to the messages and stop smoking outside the hospital.”
Some of the messages on the speaker system include:
- Do you know that we are a smoke free hospital? Please do not smoke outside this building. Thank you.
- Excuse me, do you think you could put out your cigarette? Someone’s granny, granddad, mummy or daddy is having their treatment today. Thank you.
- Our patients need clean air to get better. Please do not smoke outside our buildings. Thank you.
Chief Executive Grant Archibald said, “We hope this system will be a positive way to encourage people to support our no smoking policy.
“Similar systems have been used in hospitals in England and have proven to be a great success so we hope that people will be encouraged to use it.
“We want everyone to be involved to help Ninewells Hospital stay smoke free for the benefits of our patients, staff and visitors.”
Consultant in Public Health Pharmacy Andrew Radley, staff from Tayside Children’s Hospital play team, and members of the NHS Tayside Quit Your Way service also attended the event to celebrate the new speaker system.
Andrew Radley said, “We are extremely grateful to all of the children involved in the project. They all sound fantastic and they were very enthusiastic to share the no smoking messages.
“Only one in six people now smoke in Tayside and our policy aims to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of the people using our services.
“It is clear that most people that we talk to support our no smoking policy and want to be able to use our services without being exposed to second-hand smoke.
“Keeping our grounds smoke free is to benefit the health of everyone and we are keen to provide support to anyone who wants to give up smoking. We hope that this new button system will help make people more aware of our no smoking policy and how they can support it.”
Later this year, the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc And Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 will make it illegal to smoke within 15 metres of a hospital building. Anyone breaking this law will be liable to receive a fixed penalty notice which can be issued by enforcement officers employed by the local authority. Guidance about the new law will be issued by the Scottish Government, including the responsibilities of NHS and local authorities and how they will work in partnership to enforce it.
NHS Tayside’s Quit Your Way services provide smoking cessation services and information about support available to NHS staff, patients and members of the public, including the availability of Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Help is also in place for patients that smoke to help them remain smoke free while in hospital.
Giving up smoking is the single most important lifestyle decision that anyone can make to improve their health immediately. Anyone who wants to stop smoking can visit any local community pharmacy or call Quit Your Way on 01382 424127 to find out about all the ways NHS Tayside can help support people to become smoke free.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the free Quit Your Way programme which offers support and free products can also follow our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nhstaysidequityourway