THERE are no “immediate plans” for on the spot smoking fines at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust last week introduced £50 fines for anyone caught smoking on their sites, but this won’t be applied in Worcestershire anytime soon, say hospital bosses.

County council cabinet member for health and wellbeing John Smith called for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust to "do all they possibly can" to ensure the no smoking policy is effective at Worcestershire Royal.

Councillor Smith has experienced first-hand the smoking issue and said: “If they can’t do anything about it something needs to change.

“From my point of view, I would encourage them to restrict it and hopefully cut it out altogether.”

This comes after asthma patient Fern Bowkett accused the hospital of demonstrating a “blatant disregard for patient safety” by allowing people to flout the policy.

The 25-year-old says inconsiderate smokers outside the Worcester hospital mean she has to "risk her life" when she visits every two weeks for lifesaving injections.

Having emailed the Patient Advice and Liaison Service, she was told there is no definitive way of enforcing the hospital’s no smoking policy - even though it is advertised across the site.

Alison Ravenhall, a regular visitor to the hospital, said she, like Ms Bowkett, has been sworn at when pointing out the ‘no smoking’ signs to smokers outside the main entrance.

“I even saw a man in his dressing gown trailing a drip on a stand smoking outside the front entrance,” she said. “Not a good look or a great marketing image for the hospital.”

Ms Ravenhall previously lived in York for 30 years and said the hospital there has smoking booths away from the entrance for visitors, as well as ones inside for patients.

“Other venues I attend seem to be able to enforce their non smoking ban so the hospital’s response is pathetic,” she added.

A spokesman for the trust said staff, patients and visitors are regularly reminded that “we are smoke free site”.

“We are currently looking into new ways in which we can reinforce this message to everyone visiting one of our hospitals,” they added.