Hospital transport

When I got into the volunteer hospital transport's guy car after my PR lesson, it absolutely stank of fags. It's OK he said, I don't smoke in the car when there is a patient in it. It isn't. My daughter rang to complain, apparently we are not the first to do so. Paramedics are not allowed to smoke in uniform, should be the same rules for everyone.

35 Replies

Yuck! That's not nice. Xx

...Why didn't this driver, knowing what the vehicle was to be used for - put up a sign - " No Smoking " SOLVED !

It was the driver that was smoking

Should have asked them to send another car, it may have triggered an asthma attack or worse. It would also have been a stronger complaint.

I should have done. I didn't realise until I was in the car, I wouldn't have got another transport vehicle and I was knackered after the PR and wanted to get home.

That is appalling! Smokers just do not realise how bad the smoke smells because they cannot smell it, no matter how stale and nasty it is (I know because I smoked). That does not make it acceptable for this situation to occur and in my opinion they should not accept volunteers unless they undertake not to smoke in their car. Is it not illegal?


Not allowed by law.

Very good point, thanks.

Hi stone thanks for link the law seems quite clear on this issue.

Yes I agree with you. Still he was a volunteer and I believe they are always in short supply?

Even so I don't think it is OK. I've had some terrible volunteer drivers. One guy last week pulled in front of someone at a roundabout and then did the same across a dual carriageway.

No I don't think it's ok either but maybe it's hard to recruit volunteer drivers and lay down conditions? I don't know. xx

Precisely, that makes it very difficult. I would have asked the volunteer to kindly open all the windows to get a bit of a breeze blowing through the car. He might get the message, or he might just stop volunteering which I understand is a pretty thankless task.

He got the message becauseci told him it was not acceptable. He put the air con on, but it still affected my duff lungs.

You know it's bad for us and bad for him!

Yep I totally agree, and vice versa, a "friend" of mine asked me to to attend a cancer clinic in a volunteer driver car and attend an appointment with him to discuss his treatment, so he was diagnosed with cancer of the throat around 6 weeks ago and he's a smoker and to say I disappointed with his attitude to all concerned with his treatment, this starts with all the various agencies involved, he's kicking the backside out of every one, he's been told he has a good chance to rid himself of the cancer, but he's continually smoking and drinking, well to say I'm outraged at his attitude towards his treatment package that's been arranged for him, he's wasting everybody's TIME,so I've cut ties with him, even when we got picked up he was smoking and we had another patient to pick up who has a nasal feeding peg! So anyone who is attending hospital should be duty bound to abide by the rules and also common sense should apply, it's not rocket science hopefully you'll have no more issues and best of luck for any future appointments.

Have you ever stopped to think this man is so scared .No well you should been in hospital with cancer patients that still smoke they say it keps them going when their aloan in the middle of the night .He needs friends to help him stop Cut all ties TUT

Perhaps if I gave you the full circumstances you'd be able to understand,some of the devious things this man has done is beyond the words,I've done my bit for "Christianity" and I have my own health issues, so unfortunately I think my reasons are totally valid, as the old saying goes "when in Rome do as the Romans do", if he can't or won't stop SMOKING AND DRINKING, who am I to tell him, let alone the specialist who told him, so it's a simple choice stop smoking and drinking, otherwise the treatment will fail, and remember there will be plenty of folk who adhere to the "rules" and get the all clear, so I don't like people wasting my time, he's had more chances than I've hot dinners, sorry that's the way it is, and to take the free rides from the VOLUNTEERS, is the biggest kick in the teeth to them, I did not expect someone to pass judgement when you don't know the full facts, and if I explained everything I knew you'd probably be in the same agreement, thank you for your comment.

The Smoke-free (Exemptions and Vehicles) Regulations 2007 [extract]:

11.—(1) Subject to the following paragraphs of this regulation, an enclosed vehicle and any enclosed part of a vehicle is smoke-free if it is used—

(a)by members of the public or a section of the public (whether or not for reward or hire); or

(b)in the course of paid or voluntary work by more than one person (even if those persons use the vehicle at different times, or only intermittently).

In plain English, if he smokes n the vehicle he is breaking this law - report him every time you use it and, if no action is taken then send an email to the hospital with "COMPLAINT" in the subject line; that usually gets a response!

Had hospital transport 1 day the driver stank of smoke coughed for ages after & was glad never had him again & if car was stinking of smoke I would have reported him!

Would you be able to qualify for the hospital ambulance service instead or if the hospital is not far could you go by taxi? It's a bit of a gamble with volunteer drivers who are in short supply and a lot of the time not appreciated for what they do.

I just book transport. Sometimes an ambulance, sometimes a car and sometimes a volunteer. I really don't need an ambulance.

Not good but I think it's difficult to criticise what he does in his own car when he's given his time up to help people...

It's very easy to criticise him if he picks up sick people from hospital. I've had many taxi rides and never had a smoke problem.

It seems he is actually breaking the law.

Even if he's a volunteer, using his own car?

Yes. See y_not's comment above.

Hmmm, I get your point but an extreme analogy could be a volunteer paedophile taking kids to school .... being a volunteer doesn't exempt them from the law or common decency

That's just thoughtless, rude and inconsiderate. If the driver cannot refrain from smoking in his car then he shouldn't be allowed to be hospital transport. But maybe volunteers are that hard to find? When needs must the Devil drives eh?

The smell is awfull but thats not the only issue fumes left in the car can trigger an asthma attack or a 😧exasperation of copd symptons which in turn could lead to a hospital trip and a bad few days while your lungs settel back down again. What a selfish attitude he realy should be told i hope you are ok make sure if you book again to ask for a non smoker ☺

Whilst I can understand how people would be upset by this, I do not think we can expect a person not to smoke in their own car. As far as I can understand he did follow the law when driving the patient by not smoking while they were in the car, and whilst I do understand as an ex-smoker that the stench of tobacco lingers I do not think we can reasonably expect a volunteer not to smoke in their own car whilst not volunteering. As someone who finds it extremely difficult to get access to any form of transport I think it is a bit mean to condemn this person who is after all giving up their own free time to help others quite so vehemently as some of the posts here. The best solution would seem to be to ask not to have him again, which I believe has been done but let us not persecute him for a vice which many of us were also (albeit with great regret now) in the past just as guilty. I am sure my non-smoking friends had similar feelings about the stench in my car all those years ago. Just my opinion.

Well said.

You can very reasonably expect people not to smoke in their car if they are a hospital driver. It just isn't on, and has been pointed out against the law. There is no justification for it at all.

Considering hes doing it for free thsts not bad going .You shpuld have refused to go in the car I would have .

firstly lucky all of you who get voluntary drivers! There are none in my area and when I get a cab there is the air freshener to contend with. My trip to the optcians ended up with me gasping for breath as my COPD went mad in the car. When I booked the cab I even asked for one with no air freshener and the guy laughed. So I won't use that company again.

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