The board had been asked to endorse implementing its smoke-free policy for mental health services and facilities, following a lengthy discussion at its hospitals advisory committee meeting, but yesterday, August 5th the board vote was lost on voices.
Background: VIDEO - Psychiatric patients at Hillmorton Hospital say they're angry and annoyed at the smoking ban that came into force today, July 1stThe hospitals advisory committee last week endorsed a plan to ban smoking at Wakari Hospital and Dunedin Hospital mental health wards.
As of July 1, 2010 mental health facilities across Canterbury are now completely smokefree, along with many others around the country - but that's no comfort to vulnerable, stressed out patients. (Psych patients angry at smoking ban by Juliet Speedy 3news.co.nz, 7/1/2010)
However, the plan had been opposed by board member, Richard Thomson, who said the ban was akin to forced treatment for psychiatric patients who were not entitled to leave hospital grounds.
Thomson research had showed it was not an effective way of getting patients to stop smoking and could put patients off seeking the treatment they needed He referred to an email he had received from a person with a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia who said he refused to access health care because of the " totalitarian anti-choice regime in psychiatric hospitals".
References: Mental services smoking ban fails by Elspeth McLean email@example.com), Otago Daily Times, 8/6/2010; Health board says no to psychiatric hospital smoking ban, Tobacco Reporter, 8/6/2010.
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