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Issued: 2 June 2006

Smoking Allowed At Two Care Homes

Angus Council has agreed to create dedicated facilities for residents who smoke at two of its residential care homes.

The recently introduced smoking legislation allows residential care homes to provide facilities for residents who smoke, in enclosed but adequately ventilated communal areas or in residents’ private rooms.

However in doing so the Act creates some difficulties for local authorities, which have a duty of care to employees, and those in its care. A similar difficulty exists in protecting staff who make home visits to service users.

The council’s Social Work & Health committee (30 May) considered the implications of the new legislation and opted to create dedicated facilities for residents that smoke at Seaton Grove residential home in Arbroath and St Drostans House in Brechin.

Speaking after the meeting Social Work & Health convener Glennis Middleton said: “This compromise means we will continue to provide some smoking facilities for residents.

“The homes selected are the only two of our care homes with residents who smoke, so none of our existing residents will be disrupted by the new arrangement.

“We have had a smoking ban in residents rooms for over 10years due to assessed fire risks, so we will need to invest in both premises to create properly ventilated communal areas. We will be monitoring this new arrangement, making every effort to minimise staff exposure to smoke.”

The council will now be assessing the impact the decision has on people who access residential respite care and what alternative arrangements will be put in place if required.

The committee also agreed that service users would now be asked to refrain from smoking during any home visits by social work staff and for one hour before staff arrive.

Councillor Middleton asked for service users co-operation for home visits saying: “Our primary concern remains the care of service users but we would ask them to respect these new arrangements to help us protect the health of our staff.”