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Vote for your favourite Welsh park

19 News Hospital smoking survey launched

THIS year, the prestigious

international Green Flag Award was awarded to a record-breaking 161 greens and parks in Wales. The annual People’s Choice Award

is now open, giving the public the chance to vote for their favourite park. However, this year there won’t be

an overall winner, but instead a top ten voted by the public, in celebration of the Green Flag Award’s 20th year in operation. On Friday, September 30 at noon,

the vote will close, and October will see the announcement of the top ten green spaces and parks in the UK. If you wish to vote, visit www., select Wales on the interactive map, find your favourite park or green space, click on more details and click the ‘vote for this site’ button.

A UK-wide partnership, the Green

Flag Award is delivered in Wales by Keep Wales Tidy, who are supported by the Welsh Government. Green Flag Award Coordinator

at Keep Wales Tidy, Lucy Prisk, said: “We all have a favourite park, whether it’s our local green space or a special park we’ll travel miles to visit. Vote for your favourite Welsh park to ensure that our beautiful, award-winning green spaces get the recognition they deserve this year.” Last year, over 30 thousand votes

were cast by the public. Victoria Park in London’s Tower Hamlets won the Green Flag Award, with Margam Park in Neath Port Talbot coming a close second. All locations that have won the

Green Flag Award are also entered into the People’s Choice Award vote.

HYWEL DDA UHB is asking

the public to tell them how they feel about staff and the public lighting up on their hospital sites. The survey, which asks 12

questions and takes around five to 10 minutes to complete, will help inform the Health Board’s Smoke Free policy when it is reviewed in the coming months. Teresa Owen, Director of Public

Health for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We have asked our staff about how they think we can encourage smokers not to smoke on our hospital sites, and now we’re asking for the public’s opinion.

“We’re very proud that since July

2012, all University Health Board sites have been formally designated as smoke free, in line with Welsh Government’s requirement for us to promote public health,. But, while the majority of staff, patients and visitors to our sites respect this policy, some people continue to smoke on-site. “Our smoke free policy covers

all premises and grounds and applies to all members of the public, patients (except for those residing in residential mental health units who are exempt under the Smoke Free Premises (etc.) Wales Regulations 2007), visitors, staff and contractors.

“Everyone has the right to breathe

fresh air, especially when visiting a healthcare facility. We recently introduced audio systems at all four of our acute hospital sites, which enable onlookers to anonymously push a red button which triggers a PA message that reminds smokers that it is a smoke free site and asks them to extinguish their cigarette. The feedback we had for this project was extremely positive, so now we want to know how the public think we can build on this work. “Remember, if you want to quit

smoking, there are services available to support you – you can do it!”

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