By Ian Dipple Thursday 12 September 2013 Updated: 12/09 17:05
A BAN on smoking within the grounds of the Alexandra Hospital is one of the options being explored by hospital bosses.
The idea is being looked at as part of a feasibility study ordered by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and would affect the Woodrow Drive site as well as the Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Kidderminster Treatment Centre.
Currently smokers are banned from lighting up within ten metres of hospital buildings but the study will look at putting further restrictions in place, with a view to putting proposals forward for discussion by the Trust's board in the Autumn.
The move was revealed in a letter to the chairman of Worcestershire County Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee which has previously questioned why an organisation which treated people with smoking related diseases did not do more to deter people from the habit.
Chief executive Penny Venables said any decision would be subject to significant consultation with patients, public, staff and other Trusts who have recently restricted smoking at their sites and found rather than deter patients they simply went and stood on or near to main roads or other public areas.
"Both for patients and staff and as a Trust we have had to balance the clear health benefits and messages a total ban sends, with a significant minority of patients and staff who feel it is their right to smoke outside and away from the main buildings."
The move follows calls from the Smoke Free Worcestershire Alliance to implement a ban.
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