SMOKING has been completely banned anywhere at Redditch's Alexandra Hospital.

A ban on patients and visitors lighting up anywhere at the Alex, as well as Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Kidderminster Hospital, came into force last week.

Although each site previously had designated smoking shelters – which have now been dismantled – patients and visitors have frequently been seen lighting up in other areas.

Although Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the three sites, has said anyone seen smoking will be asked to put it out immediately, it remains to be seen how effective the ban – which also applies to e-cigarettes and vaporisers – will be.

The trust’s director of human resources Denise Harnin said she and her colleagues had been planning on becoming entirely smoke free for some time.

“Our patients are already in hospital because they are acutely ill and smoking is known to make a lot of these conditions even worse,” she said.

“By promoting healthier choices to our patients and offering them support to stop we can help them quit smoking and improve their overall quality of life.”

“Being faced with a crowd of smokers on your way into hospital isn’t a nice way to start your experience of the great care and services we provide.

“By banning smoking from our sites, patients and visitors will get to experience a more pleasant start to their treatment and recovery.”

Staff have been banned from smoking at all three sites since June last year.

What do you think of the new rules? Are they a good idea, or should patients, staff and visitors be allowed to light up if they want to? Let us know by emailing