In 2007/8, the NHS declared that it wanted all hospitals and other health centres to ban smoking outright, and Regional Health Authorities issued guidelines to implement this policy. MHAG became aware that the then Mental Health Trust in Derbyshire intended to comply with this edict
MHAG was asked by some inpatients to stop this from happening, as many were detained or unable to leave the site to smoke; whilst on ward, this could be regarded as their “home” for the duration. Also, people who smoked found it unbearable to be asked to stop when admitted in crisis situations; this often led to conflict with others and longer recovery times.
MHAG petitioned the Trust to make an exception for this group of people. The incoming Chairman of the Trust agreed with our argument and smoking was permitted for those patients unable to leave the site.