Russell’s Hall Hospital, Dudley, West Midlands
I visited Russell Hall Hospital in Dudley, West Midlands, today which was an eye opener on a couple of fronts.
Firstly I was struck by the American campus style of the layout and the light and airy feeling of the interior. In fact it had the feeling of an expensive private hospital, which just shows what can be achieved by the NHS when it has money available, and the management team in place to deliver.
In my opinion this state of the art hospital which was built about 30 years ago still looks good, and the staff that I met as I wondered around were exceptional. There’s a WH Smith on the ground floor with good restaurants available throughout.
A really excellent hospital which is a credit to our National Health Service.
I love the bright feel which was only let down by one thing! Unfortunately this one thing is important in my view. It isn’t something that only occurs in this hospital sadly. I have seen the same thing at other hospitals I’ve visited around the country.
It is the issue of smoking on site and just as importantly where that smoking takes place and where cigarette butts are left!
Today I was shocked, not by one or two butts left around the place you understand, but hundreds and hundreds. Quite shocking in my opinion, is the fact that a giant ashtray is situated right outside the main entrance of this beautiful hospital which cost the tax payer millions to build.
My mother was a very heavy smoker, something which eventually claimed her life so I know first hand the terrible price smokers pay for their habit.
I just can’t understand why the NHS seemingly encourage this habit by provided state of the art ashtrays with snubbers etc, right outside it’s main entrance, where children visiting sick relatives walk right past. It must appear to them that the NHS condones something that kills thousands of people annually.
As I said my mother died of a smoking related disease so I understand that people who have smoked all their lives and then find themselves in hospital because of an associated, or non associated, illness will want to smoke! but surely this can take place somewhere more discrete and definitely not in the main entrance! It’s poorly thought out and frankly crude to allow it in this location.
What a pity such a wonderful hospital, funded by the British tax payer, and with such brilliant and dedicated staff is let down by designers and management who have not thought this issue through.
Why not create a dedicated smoking area somewhere else, out of the sight of children, and make sure that graphic images show why people should give up.
Ban smoking everywhere on NHS premises, including for staff, except for within the confines of the area described.
We all want a properly funded and successful NHS, it’s part of the fabric of what makes the UK special but encouraging smoking, which costs the service so much, and damages so many lives is total lunacy in my opinion.