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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 24 December 2018

Our smokefree resolution for 2019

The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust is joining thousands of people across the UK determined to quit smoking by going smokefree from 1 January 2019.

It means that visitors, patients and staff will be encouraged not to smoke on Trust sites, including the Royal United Hospital and the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath, our community birthing centres and The Riverside Clinic. Other NHS Trusts in the South West and across the country will be smokefree too from 1 January.

Medical Director Dr Bernie Marden said: "Clean air is better for everyone – we're clear that as a health organisation it's the right thing for us to do. We're proud to be going smokefree."

While tobacco smoking will not be permitted on Trust sites, vaping will be allowed, outdoors only. Smoking shelters on Trust grounds have already been removed. The Trust signalled its commitment to going smokefree earlier this year by signing the NHS Smokefree Pledge. Signatories acknowledge that 'smoking places a significant additional burden on health and social care services and is impacting on the future sustainability of the NHS'.

In line with recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the Trust's pledge will protect everyone who uses its sites from the dangers of second-hand smoke, and also create a supportive environment for those who are quitting.

The Trust's Occupational Health team are providing support for staff to stop smoking completely or help to manage cravings while at work. The Trust also runs the Healthy Choices initiative, which involves screening inpatients where needed, providing advice about smoking and alcohol consumption. If appropriate, the patient is referred for further support. Nicotine replacement therapies like gum and patches are also available for inpatients.

If you smoke and you have a planned admission to hospital, or are visiting someone at the hospital, you're asked to be prepared to manage without tobacco during your stay. You can ask your GP or pharmacist for advice on nicotine replacement therapy or e-cigarettes to take with you. Please think about your non-smoking options during your time at our smokefree hospital.

  • Smoking is a significant public health issue in England and a leading cause of preventable ill health, premature death and disability.
  • The cost of smoking to the NHS in England is £2.5 billion every year. One in four patients in hospital is a smoker.
  • According to the pledge, the tobacco industry's products kill 80,000 people in England every year.

Notes to Editor
  • The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire. The hospital provides healthcare to the population served by four Clinical Commissioning Groups: Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG and South Gloucestershire CCG.
  • The Trust has 759 beds and a comprehensive range of acute services including medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services, and diagnostic and clinical support services.
  • In 2015 The Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust. The RNHRD treats patients from across the country offering services in rheumatology, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, cancer related fatigue and fatigue linked to other long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
  • The RUH is changing - we have an exciting programme of redevelopment underway transforming our site and further improving the services we provide. The Trust is building a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre and is now working towards a new Dyson Cancer Centre. For more details visit:

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