Public Health Bill (2017) and new Smoke Ban Regulations coming into force in 2019
The Patients’ Council was invited to a meeting at the Felindre Ward at Bronllys Hospital recently to engage about a consultation that was recently launched by the Welsh Government dealing with a prospective smoking ban in all hospital grounds. As this will include acute mental health in-patient wards such as the Felindre Ward, it is important that people associated with the ward(s) voice their views in relation to this consultation.
The ban is due to come into force in Summer 2019, and this will give ward managers 18 months from then to ensure there are alternative measures in place to replace existing indoor smoking rooms, and that outdoor areas fall in line with the new rules. One of the proposed rules will prohibit an outdoor smoking area from being within 10 metres of any hospital building. This will mean that if there is no exemption for mental health wards it will be impossible for there to be a secure smoking area that people can use without staff members present and this creates other issues relating to staff health and secondhand smoke.
We will be working with the Patients Council to look at the possible impact of these rule changes, and how the hospital can offset the disruption and distress that it may cause to people on the ward and potentially other wards/mental health facilities across Powys. If you have lived experience of an acute mental health ward, and would like to contribute to the consultation please email email@example.com with your comments or for more information.