Anger over cigarette ends left outside Montagu Hospital

A picture taken by Natasha Johnson supposedly showing discarded cigarette ends outside Montagu Hospital.
A picture taken by Natasha Johnson supposedly showing discarded cigarette ends outside Montagu Hospital.

Health chiefs are probing complaints that Montagu Hospital staff left scores of cigarette butts near the main entrance after nipping out for a smoke.

Resident Natasha Johnson, who lives near the hospital on Cemetery Road, Mexborough, said she has spotted staff nipping out for a cigarette on many occasions before leaving the tab ends strewn all over the pavement.

She said she has reported the issue to the hospital and Doncaster Council on at least four occasions in the last 18 months - but the problem is still persisting.

She took pictures last week which supposedly show scores of tab ends on the floor.

The 49-year-old said: “It is near a staff entrance and is also not far from the main entrance where patients come in and out so it does not look good. I have been told before that it is patients rather than staff, but I have seen people with their name badges on having a smoke. They are not allowed to smoke inside so they nip just outside.”

Natasha added she has asked hospital bosses for an ashtray bin to be installed but claims she was told this was not viable as it would attract ‘undesirables’ who pick out the tobacco from discarded cigarette ends. She said: “But what would be worse? A couple of people doing that every now and again or loads of used cigarettes on the floor?

“They should really stop doing it and staff should be warned not to do it.”

She added that she had received an email back from the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust stating that they were looking into the matter.

Richard Parker, director of nursing, midwifery and quality at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, said: “As a health organisation we promote a no smoking culture to protect our patients, visitors and staff from the harmful effects of smoking. Unfortunately we do get some people smoking close to the hospital and they can cause litter. We encourage people to respect the environment around the hospitals and we do try to maintain a clean, pleasant environment around our hospital sites.”