NHS Scotland’s Sick Policy

Dick Puddlecote

NHS Scotland’s Sick Policy Jesus H Christ! How can so much odious and intolerant spite be included in a single article?

EXTRA support staff will be deployed to advise smokers against lighting up in hospital grounds after staff and patients were spotted puffing away just days after new rules were introduced.

Alert! Smokers have been spotted in the vicinity, release the hounds!

And, erm, extra staff? Don’t people working in the NHS keep telling us they’ve got no money and the whole institution is falling apart at the seams?

Professor Alison McCallum, director of public health and health policy at NHS Lothian, said: “We are grateful to the Evening News for highlighting this, enabling us to bring in additional support such as increasing the number of smoking cessation advisers and deploying in these areas over the coming days and weeks.”

Oh I see. So they were totally skint until the Evening News told them that smokers were in the car park, at which point the magic money tree began pumping out £20 notes. Or, as is more likely, are funds being diverted from healthcare for the purposes of a pointless witch hunt?

Alison Johnstone, Lothian Green MSP, said: “The ban on smoking at NHS hospitals hardly needs explain[ing], it’s there for a reason …

No, Alison, it does need explaining because it is not illegal (yet) to smoke outdoors, simply for the reason that there is no conceivable health threat. You do remember, don’t you, that smoking was banned indoors because of the danger of mythical passive smoking from a series of {cough}thorough peer-reviewed studies? You’re a politician, you surely must remember when bar staff were all of a sudden the most precious people in the nation … for at least a few months until they were completely forgotten again.

So what reason, exactly, is there for banning smoking in the open air?

“Anyone visiting a hospital, be it staff, patient or visitor, shouldn’t have to pass through a haze of cigarette smoke on their way inside.”

Simple. Place smoking shelters away from entrances and smokers will use them. Problem solved. You’re a clever girl, you can work that out for yourself, can’t you?

The move – which has been introduced as part of plan to create a tobacco-free generation by 2034 – also bans patients and staff from smoking in their cars on hospital ­property.

For the education of any bemused alien life forms who might be scanning our internet, these are cars which are allowed on NHS property.


And this is a cigarette – which is banned for polluting the lungs of hospital visitors – being smoked … in a car. I’ve highlighted it in red in case you can’t see it.


Turn the spaceships round, fellas, we’re not worth conquering, believe me.

But it’s fitting to leave the last word to the architect of this bonanza of astonishingly mean-spirited and malicious pecksniffery north of the border.

[Sheila Duffy, chief executive of health
charity ASH Scotland] said: “We want people to understand why the policy is there in the first place. At the moment, seeing smokers is a part of life but that is changing.”

Got that smokers? The policy is to make sure no-one ever has to see you. So go home, place a bell outside your door, and let’s hope society can forget your sorry existence.

Or, as one commenter to the article put it …

Clearly a polite request approach isn’t working and if the health board isn’t prepared to enforce it then they may as well say that all smokers are welcome.

Heaven forbid that smokers – who have paid taxes to pay for the NHS just like everyone else, plus £12bn per year in duty over and above that – should ever be welcome at a hospital, eh?

Truly these people disgust me, may God rot every last one of them.


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