Wimmera Health Care Group has declared July 1, 2013 ‘Butt Out Day’.
Chief executive Chris Scott said this means the organisation will become smoke free for staff and visitors from July 1.
“The decision to go smoke free will create a huge positive cultural change across the organisation,” Mr Scott said.
“From July 1, staff and visitors will no longer be allowed to smoke on site at all, while patients will be assessed individually on their nicotine dependency and ability not to smoke while in hospital.
“We are currently working on putting procedures and guidelines in place so that in the future even patients won’t be allowed to smoke on site and we will be able to support smokers during their stay and hopefully give them the tools to quit.”
Mr Scott said a Smoke Free Working Party was established to lead the change and he was excited for July 1.
“This is an incredibly positive step for us to take as an organisation, we value the long-term health of our staff, patients and visitors and believe this is a positive step in creating change when it comes to the effects of smoking,” Mr Scott said.
“We have put procedures in place to support staff who make the decision to quit and we have already had a lot of positive feedback.
“We will now work towards making the entire organisation smoke free by creating guidelines to help patients avoid smoking while they are in hospital and also give them support if they chose to quit entirely.”