Courtyard 'refuge' plan

WIRRAL Hospital is re-enforcing its no smoking policy by banning people and patients from lighting up on its doorstep.

A survey of hospital staff revealed that many objected to cigarette ends being discarded on the ground or breathing in smoke as they walked into Arrowe Park Hospital.

They also felt the sight of smokers outside was both undignified and gave a bad first impression of the hospital.

Following the Globe story on the new anti-smoking move last week, a hospital spokeswoman said they would be providing two internal courtyards as the only areas on the Arrowe Park site where patients will be permitted to smoke from the end of October.

These will be situated to the rear of the Duchess of Westminster Wing, the women's unit, and in the main building between outpatients and maxillofacial surgery departments. They will be clearly signposted.

By the end of October, staff and visitors will be asked to smoke in certain designated gardens, supplied with sand-filled bins in which to dispose of cigarette ends. Anyone found to be smoking outside these allocated areas will be requested to use the designated areas, or asked to leave the hospital grounds.

"We would prefer that nobody smoked on the site," she added.

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