Two top Hampshire GPs today welcomed plans to make Queen Alexandra Hospital at Portsmouth smoke-free next year.
Dr David Chilvers and Dr Barbara Rushton, the clinical leads for NHS Fareham and Gosport and NHS South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, are both supporting the Smoke Free Portsmouth Hospitals Trust (PHT) Pledge Campaign.
They have both signed pledge forms in support of PHT’s commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of its staff, patients and visitors.
The Cosham hospital has been a no-smoking site for a number of years at present smoking is still allowed in designated areas. It will become a smoke-free site from January 14, 2019.
On his form, Gosport GP Dr Chilvers wrote: “I want grandparents to be able to play with their grandchildren.”
On her form, Dr Rushton, a Liphook GP, said: “It makes sense because stopping smoking improves everyone’s healthy living.”
Going smoke free will not only help protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke on-site, but also play a significant part in reducing the number of people who smoke by providing support to help them quit.
Nationally, smoking costs the NHS an estimated £2 billion a year but the cost to society could be as much as £13.8billion each year. It also causes almost 80,000 premature deaths every year, and contributes to 1.7million hospital admissions.
PHT says that lung cancer rates at Queen Alexandra Hospital are “disproportionately high” with 15.2% of adults living in Portsmouth still smoking – a figure higher than the national average.