Scotland

Carstairs smoking ban upheld after hospital wins appeal

State Hospital at Carstairs Image copyright NHS Scotland
Image caption The ban on smoking at the State Hospital at Carstairs was introduced in December 2011

A patient at the State Hospital at Carstairs who won a court ruling that a smoking ban at the facility breached his human rights has seen the decision overturned.

Charles McCann challenged the ban at the Court of Session in Edinburgh after it was introduced in December 2011.

His case was supported by judge Lord Stewart who said the blanket ban was "flawed in every possible way".

But three judges reversed the decision after hospital authorities appealed.

Lord Carloway, who heard the appeal with Lady Paton and Lord Brodie, said: "The decision about whether patients, or indeed staff and visitors, should be permitted to smoke within the boundaries of the State Hospital was, and is, one of management.

"It is not for the court to review the merits of the decision and to substitute its own views on the desirability of imposing a comprehensive smoking ban in the State Hospital."

Craving consumables

Mr McCann, who suffers from schizophrenia, has spent 18 years detained in the Lanarkshire institution.

He successfully argued that he would be allowed to smoke if he was a prisoner or if his condition could be treated in the community.

But Lord Carloway said: "Many persons have cravings for different consumables from tea or coffee, alcohol in a variety of different forms, through to chocolate and other foodstuffs.

"However, in the context of an institution such as the State Hospital, it is a question for management to decide what is to be made available to the patients."

Lord Carloway said the smoking ban was "proportionate to the legitimate aim of promoting the health of those detained and those at work".

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