A cavalier attitude

I NOTE with interest the item stating a comment from the chief executive of Hinchingbrooke Hospital regarding the banning of smoking in the grounds. As a nurse and ex-smoker, I am appalled at the cavalier manner in which these people can presume to dictat

I NOTE with interest the item stating a comment from the chief executive of Hinchingbrooke Hospital regarding the banning of smoking in the grounds.

As a nurse and ex-smoker, I am appalled at the cavalier manner in which these people can presume to dictate to others how they lead their lives outside of a normally, and quite correctly, controlled environment, simply because they have ownership of the grounds.

I am springing to the defence of those patients, both young and old, who are for better or worse committed smokers at their own choice. It would seem that no-one has considered the stress factors involved for these people who may well be hospitalised and undergoing quite major treatment, but would like occasionally to take an airing and indulge their habit.

Passive smoking in confined spaces may well be a factor, although I personally find the data spurious at best, and certainly should be banned inside the hospital. But outside in the fresh air?

Who is kidding whom? What we are seeing is just another case of political correctness gone mad with what has become normal for the health service management, namely a lack of caring for the patients and a concentration on numbers and paperwork and a striving to appear to be efficient by angling for "good press". They clearly are trying to take a leaf out of Huntingdonshire council's book. They might even employ some PR company to help them soon.

Why do we sit back and let all these silly little people, governments included, gratify themselves with "doing what is best for us" and treating us all like fools in this increasingly granny state. Let us be quite clear. No-one is being subjected to passive smoking in the fresh air.

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KATHLEEN HART, Buckden