Smoking in Psychiatric hospitals

I see in the news today that two patients at Rampton high security hospital have been given the right to appeal the smoking ban, given that the hospital is now their home. Whilst I appreciate the concerns of staff who don’t wish to inhale second hand smoke, I sincerely hope this is a step towards revoking the ban in all psych wards nationwide.

I spent a month in a secure ward last year. There just aren’t the staff available to take a patient outside whenever they need to smoke, particularly at night. I could not have managed without the smoke room and neither could many of my fellow patients. I spent much of the day in there. It was a place to socialise with each other, rather than sitting in my room alone. It calmed me down when I became anxious. It helped me to deal with angry feelings and impulses. Without cigarettes I am certain there would have been more incidents of violence on the wards. I’d be interested to hear from those who have stayed or worked there since the ban came into place in July.  My local hospital now issues nicotine patches and encourages patients to take the opportunity to give up their habit whilst on the ward. Well perhaps that may work if you’re a long term patient, but the majority of us are only there for a short stay, at a time when we are in crisis. Hardly the right time to add the stress of giving up a serious habit too surely?

I certainly hope they win their case and soon.  Here’s the link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/7598190.stm

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3 Responses to “Smoking in Psychiatric hospitals”

  1. Alison Says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for leaving the comment that you did over at my blog… I really did appreciate what you said. I just never realised how hard this group therapy stuff would be! I shall link your blog to mine and will check out your other posts soon x

  2. bippidee Says:

    thanks ali!

  3. Lola Snow Says:

    another good post here. This is definately something which worries me, and would worry any smoker with MH issues. I’ve often heard of informal patients, “Going out for a fag” and turning up five hours later. OK legally there is no issue, but its a huge temptation for the impulsive individual, and causes a lot of concern.
    Actually, it sounds like something I’d do!!! And what good is the strategy of going outside to calm down, if you can’t have a cigarette? I’m an addict, cigarettes calm me down….

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