South Tipperary General Hospital and and St. Luke’s Campus (including Community Care Services & Mental Health Services) in Clonmel will be implementing a Tobacco Free Campus from January 6, 2014.
Similar initiatives have been in place, with positive results, in other hospital campuses around the country (including Waterford Regional Hospital since February 2012) – as the HSE moves to have tobacco free campuses applicable around all of its premises by 2015.
Smoking will not be permitted anywhere on the Western Road grounds from January 6 next. The introduction of this new policy will apply to all staff, patients, visitors and contractors and is aimed at ensuring a healthier, safer and cleaner environment for all and better health outcomes for patients and clients of STGH, the mental health and community health services.
The HSE says that people are being politely asked to comply with the policy, as they are trying to achieve a norm whereby people will not smoke on the campus of South Tipperary General Hospital and the adjacent health care facilities in Clonmel.
Dr. Mary Jane Brassill, Consultant Physician/Endocrinoligist at South Tipperary General Hospital, says:
“Introducing the Tobacco Free Campus policy at health care facilities in Clonmel provides an environment that promotes health and supports those who want to stop smoking. The facts are indisputable when it comes to the health gains. Giving up smoking greatly improves the chances of patients’ recovery. Research shows, for instance, that non smokers or those who quit smoking before and after surgery have much better wound healing and recover faster. We are encouraging the public to support our efforts. We will also help patients and staff who want to stop smoking completely. While we are all very conscious of the addiction, we are asking people not to smoke at our facilities. To stop smoking, at any stage, is one of the most important things a person can do to improve their health and we are very pleased to be able to provide such an environment that is supportive of anyone who wishes to do that”
Ms. Anna Marie Lanigan, the HSE’s Area Manager (South East) for Primary and Continuing Care says the organisation is fully supportive of the project:
“Smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the world and it is important that hospitals and health care facilities provide an environment committed to wellness and the prevention of illness. As a significant provider of healthcare in the South Tipperary area, we in the mental health and community care services are taking our responsibility around health promotion and illness prevention very seriously. Hospitals and other health services, both nationally and internationally, are working to encourage patients to adopt healthier tobacco-free lifestyles in order to decrease the incidence of smoking related disease. Providing a smoke free environment sends a clear message that we’re committed to protecting and promoting the health of our patients, staff and all who visit here.”
Ms. Hilda O’ Neill, the HSE’s Senior Health Promotion Officer in the South Tipperary has confirmed:
“Staff, in partnership with Health Promotion personnel, will be informing all patients/clients, GP’s and other stakeholders of the new policy in the coming weeks. Awareness sessions for staff are ongoing. The public are also being advised of supports that are available locally through their GP, Pharmacist and Practice Nurse and nationally through the National Smokers Quit line at call save1850-201301. Staff have also been offered and have attended training in smoking cessation.