From 22nd February, National No Smoking Day, the hospitals within the Louth Meath Hospital Group, which include Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, and Louth County Hospital in Dundalk will become smoke free campuses .
The HSE last week published full details on the campaign, which will lead to ‘no smoking’ signs applying across the hospital grounds and campus.
Crucially the policy will apply to all staff, patients, visitors contractors and anyone who enters the hospital buildings/grounds.
Patients who smoke will be referred to the hospital’s free Smoking Cessation Service and will be offered free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) during their hospital stay.
Margaret Swords, Group General Manager, Louth Meath Hospital Group said ‘ As a major provider of health care in the community, our mission is to create a healthy environment for our patients, visitors and employees.
The purpose of this initiative is to eliminate tobacco use on our hospital campuses, to provide a healthy and safe environment for all and to promote positive health behaviour. We have a free smoking cessation service at each hospital which is available to all patients, staff and visitors.’
She explained that the implementation of the new ‘smoke free campus’ policy will see a series of educational initiatives are being rolled out including consultation sessions and education forums for staff, information leaflets, displays within the hospital to inform all staff and visitors to the hospital of this policy and to explain the help and support that is available.
HSE staff will hold an Information Event in Scotch Hall Shopping Centre on Friday, 10th February, between 2.30pm and 7pm to raise awareness about the introduction of this new policy and to provide advice and information on the supports available to help quit smoking.