Hospital’s venture could see smoking on site stubbed out

Communications TeamNews

Hospital workers in Hull are on the look-out for a local business to help with an unusual experiment.

Health improvement managers are searching for a fruit and veg vendor to sell produce at the entrance to Hull Royal Infirmary.

As well as making it easier for patients, staff and visitors to buy produce and enjoy their ‘5-a-day’, it is hoped the move will reduce the number of people who smoke at the hospital entrance, and in turn, who smoke on site at all.

Amy Brocklesby, NHS Project Lead for Tobacco Dependency

Amy Brocklesby, NHS Project Lead for Tobacco Dependency at Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust explains:

“The Hull Royal Infirmary site has been officially Smokefree for several years but we have struggled to discourage smoking on the grounds. People don’t always feel comfortable or empowered to ask people not to smoke on site.

“To encourage a more natural shift in behaviours, we’re now taking the lead from a number of other hospitals across the country who have introduced fresh fruit and vegetable stalls in their hospital grounds.

“Evidence from those hospitals shows that people tend to refrain from smoking tobacco around fresh produce, so we’d love to share the opportunity to promote healthier behaviours with a local grower or retailer and help support local trade too.

“The staff who we’ve spoken to so far have been overwhelmingly positive about the idea, so we’d now like to see if it works in practice”.

Amy and her team are initially looking to run a short trial of between four and six weeks in the first instance.

The venture would supplement measures already in place across both Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital to help people to quit, such as:

  • An in-house NHS tobacco dependency support team, available to help any patient admitted to hospital
  • Behavioural advice and support
  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

If you would be interested in the opportunity to sell fresh produce at HRI or know someone who would, please contact Amy Brocklesby on 07976 854904 or email