Saturday, May 20, 2006

Smoke Free - Hurray!

They have at last managed it! For some 6 months the smokers at The North Hampshire Hospital Basingstoke have tolerated the evangelism associated with the forthcoming on-site smoking ban. We joined in with the excitement of the thought of being forced to walk to a perimeter around the hospital for our breaks. It was soon going to be summer and we had already purchased our patio furniture and mini-bar. Dr Button was looking forward to getting his shooting stick out and perching by the smoke free signs at the entrance.

However the new wallpaper of glossy signs were becoming too informative and we began to realise what they were doing!! The lovely smokefree signs had been joined by a remarkable "countdown to smoke free sign" which was changed each day to indicate that there were only "x" days to go. These could simply be removed.

The 3 banners that greeted staff and patients at each entrance were striking and staked into the ground, 3ft by 8ft, exclaiming the joy of the new coming. They posed a bigger problem and CCTV meant that any anonymous medical man would have to consider wearing his hoody and a balaclava as well as putting out his signature Black Russian Sobranie.

So the meticulous planning the thousands of pounds and the many meetings designed to make it all go smoothly notwithstanding Ada Jones gracefully foregoing her hip replacement for a few more months had been to no avail. The smokers had become angry. Never before known but yes we had realised what was happening and were already planning our fire setting detail.

Well done Mary and Donna our DOH puppets.