STAFF at hospitals in Worcestershire will be banned from smoking anywhere on site under measures approved last week.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals’ NHS Trust backed the idea, which will see patients and visitors still allowed to light up for the time being but only in existing smoking shelters, which will be moved further away from hospital buildings.

The decision, which will also ban contractors and volunteers from smoking as well as staff, will come into effect next year and came on the same day as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) urged the NHS to ban smoking on all hospital grounds across the country.

The acute trust says its plan will support its “prevention message “ to patients, as they will now be treated by staff not smelling of smoke.

It aims to be completely smoke-free by 2015.