TALKING signs warning people that smoking is banned have been installed at Halton General.
Smokers outside the hospital will receive a verbal warning every few minutes from the signs, which are designed to remind visitors, patients, and staff not to smoke on the grounds.
Talking signs have been installed at key areas such as main entrances and outside departments where smoking is still a problem.
Smoking has been banned through- out the hospital site since the ban on smoking in public places was introduced last year.
Although the ban has dramatically reduced the number of people smoking on site, hospital staff still remind people to put out their cigarettes.
Smoking bins are also being replaced and signs are being put up to remove contradictory information that it is still permitted to smoke outside.
The talking signs idea was adopted from technology used for reminding people to wash their hands.
Catherine Beardshaw, chief executive, North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Visitors, patients and staff found smoking on the site are politely requested to put out their cigarettes by us on a regular basis. The new talking signs will hopefully make our job easier.
“We don’t want people to take offence at the ban – it is a decision made on health grounds to keep our sites clear of smoke and as an NHS organisation we feel it is the right thing to do.
“Most people understand our decision to be smoke free and have been very supportive and we hope this will be a final reminder to those who still think it is fine to smoke on site.”