Tag Archives: after

‘Life is precious’: Donegal quietly defiant after voting no in referendum

In Donegal town on Sunday, it was not immediately apparent that Ireland had just held one of the most significant votes in its history.

The morning after it emerged that Ireland had voted by a landslide to liberalise abortion laws, the campaign posters still blanketing the rest of the country had already been taken down in the town centre and the badges that were so prominent in other counties were nowhere to be seen.

Donegal stood out on Saturday as the only constituency in Ireland to have voted against repealing the eighth amendment, which had given equal legal status to the lives of a foetus and the woman carrying it.

The country overall voted with a two-thirds majority: 66.4% yes to 33.6% no. In Donegal, the result was 48.13% yes and 51.87% no – with just 2,532 votes making the difference.

map

But yes campaigners in Donegal town were taking heart in the result. “We had said as a campaign team that 40% was a victory,” said John Campbell, an independent councillor. “So the result here takes a little bit of shine off the national result. But I don’t think anyone is too disappointed.”

In 1983, when the constitution was amended, only 18% of people in Donegal – then two constituencies – voted against it. The result this time showed a big shift in attitudes. “For a county that was in the church’s vice, we did fantastically well,” said Sinéad Stewart from the campaign Donegal Together for Yes.

The town of Donegal bucked the county trend by voting yes on Friday. At mass in St Patrick’s church, the priest mentioned the result, locals said, but there was no condemnation.

Few residents were willing to talk about the referendum. Many of those who did speak to the Guardian, and had voted no, did not want to be named.

“I don’t like murder,” one woman said, when asked why she voted against the change. “I know you have to consider cases like rape and young girls, but I think that should have been legislated for separately. I feel very sad about this as I think the next thing they will do will be euthanasia. They will stick a needle in us and we’ll be gone.”

She said she did not want to named because she worried about the backlash from others. “I don’t know what way other people think,” she said.

Q&A

Abortion in Ireland – what happens next?

Abortion will not immediately be available to women within Ireland.

The eighth amendment – article 40.3.3 of the Irish constitution – which prohibited abortion, will be replaced with a clause stating: “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.”

The Irish government is planning to bring legislation before the Dáil, providing for abortion on request up to the 12th week of pregnancy, with a three-day “cooling off” period before medication is administered.

The prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said he wanted the new law to be enacted by the end of the year.

Between 12 and 24 weeks, abortion will be available only in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, a risk to a woman’s life or a risk of serious harm to the health of the mother. After 24 weeks, termination will be possible in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

There will be provision for conscientious objection among medical practitioners, although doctors will be obliged to transfer care of the pregnant woman to another doctor.

A resident of the town said Donegal’s vote against the change made him feel proud of the area.

“There are special cases, like when a girl has been raped,” he said. “But at the same time I just think life is precious and now they’re just throwing it all away. I know that might be kind of a silly attitude, but I think life is precious.

“I wouldn’t tell a lot of people that I voted no because a lot of people have a one-track mind. The government will do what it wants to do. If it hadn’t been a yes vote they would have had another referendum down the road in six months’ time.”

As well as a low turnout in Donegal, the small margin for no could be partly attributable to geography. The remote location means many young people have left to work and study, and taken their votes with them. According to the 2016 census the under-35s account for 26% of the population, compared with 30% nationally.

The area was also particularly affected by austerity measures after the recession. “People left to [go to] Dublin and the cities, and they’re still there,” said Stewart. “They see themselves as being from Donegal but their vote is registered elsewhere. I have about 15 cousins who moved out of Donegal. They would all have voted yes here.”

Campbell said: “One of the effects of not having those young people here is that conversations with parents that swayed votes were less likely to happen. That could be one factor that explains the result.”

Ciara Haley is one of those students who moved her vote. “I [am] massively disappointed in Donegal’s response, but I am also not surprised. Religion is such a prominent part of our local communities and I think a lot of pressure came from the church,” she said.

“I often feel like Donegal is forgotten about – in this sense it’s quite an isolated county. The infrastructure is seriously lacking. It’s important to remember these issues when criticising Donegal for its ‘backwardness’.”

‘Life is precious’: Donegal quietly defiant after voting no in referendum

In Donegal town on Sunday, it was not immediately apparent that Ireland had just held one of the most significant votes in its history.

The morning after it emerged that Ireland had voted by a landslide to liberalise abortion laws, the campaign posters still blanketing the rest of the country had already been taken down, and the badges so prominent in other counties were nowhere to be seen.

Donegal stood out on Saturday as the only constituency in Ireland to have voted against repealing the eighth amendment, which had given equal legal status to the lives of a foetus and the woman carrying it.

The country overall voted with a two-thirds majority: 66.4% yes to 33.6% no. In Donegal, the result was 48.13% yes and 51.87% no – with just 2,532 votes making the difference.

map

Yes campaigners in Donegal town were taking heart in the result, however.

“We had said as a campaign team that 40% was a victory,” said the local independent councillor John Campbell, who campaigned for a yes vote. “So the result here takes a little bit of shine off the national result. But I don’t think anyone is too disappointed.”

Donegal town voted against same-sex marriage in 2015 by just five votes. It voted yes on Saturday.

“We’ve moved on too,” says Campbell, whose constituency includes the town.

Yet on Sunday, many residents were unwilling to talk about the referendum. Many of those who did speak to the Guardian, and said they had voted no, said they did not want to be named.

“I don’t like murder,” one woman said, when asked why she voted against the change. “I know you have to consider cases like rape and young girls, but I think that should have been legislated for separately.”

“I feel very sad about this as I think the next thing they will do will be euthanasia. They will stick a needle in us and we’ll be gone.”

She didn’t want to reveal her name, worried about the backlash from others: “I don’t know what way other people think.”

Q&A

Abortion in Ireland – what happens next?

Abortion will not immediately be available to women within Ireland.

The eighth amendment – article 40.3.3 of the Irish constitution – which prohibited abortion, will be replaced with a clause stating: “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.”

The Irish government is planning to bring legislation before the Dáil, providing for abortion on request up to the 12th week of pregnancy, with a three-day “cooling off” period before medication is administered.

The prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said he wanted the new law to be enacted by the end of the year.

Between 12 and 24 weeks, abortion will be available only in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, a risk to a woman’s life or a risk of serious harm to the health of the mother. After 24 weeks, termination will be possible in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

There will be provision for conscientious objection among medical practitioners, although doctors will be obliged to transfer care of the pregnant woman to another doctor.

A resident of the town said Donegal’s vote against the change made him feel “proud” of the area.

“There are special cases, like when a girl has been raped. But at the same time I just think life is precious and now they’re just throwing it all away. I know that might be kind of a silly attitude, but I think life is precious.”

“I wouldn’t tell a lot of people that I voted no because a lot of people have a one-track mind,” he said.

“The government will do what it wants to do. If it hadn’t been a yes vote they would have had another referendum down the road in six months’ time.”

Ross Horron said he chose not to vote in the referendum: “I think it’s a decision for women to make.”

‘Life is precious’: Donegal quietly defiant after voting no in referendum

In Donegal town on Sunday, it was not immediately apparent that Ireland had just held one of the most significant votes in its history.

The morning after it emerged that Ireland had voted by a landslide to liberalise abortion laws, the campaign posters still blanketing the rest of the country had already been taken down, and the badges so prominent in other counties were nowhere to be seen.

Donegal stood out on Saturday as the only constituency in Ireland to have voted against repealing the eighth amendment, which had given equal legal status to the lives of a foetus and the woman carrying it.

The country overall voted with a two-thirds majority: 66.4% yes to 33.6% no. In Donegal, the result was 48.13% yes and 51.87% no – with just 2,532 votes making the difference.

map

Yes campaigners in Donegal town were taking heart in the result, however.

“We had said as a campaign team that 40% was a victory,” said the local independent councillor John Campbell, who campaigned for a yes vote. “So the result here takes a little bit of shine off the national result. But I don’t think anyone is too disappointed.”

Donegal town voted against same-sex marriage in 2015 by just five votes. It voted yes on Saturday.

“We’ve moved on too,” says Campbell, whose constituency includes the town.

Yet on Sunday, many residents were unwilling to talk about the referendum. Many of those who did speak to the Guardian, and said they had voted no, said they did not want to be named.

“I don’t like murder,” one woman said, when asked why she voted against the change. “I know you have to consider cases like rape and young girls, but I think that should have been legislated for separately.”

“I feel very sad about this as I think the next thing they will do will be euthanasia. They will stick a needle in us and we’ll be gone.”

She didn’t want to reveal her name, worried about the backlash from others: “I don’t know what way other people think.”

Q&A

Abortion in Ireland – what happens next?

Abortion will not immediately be available to women within Ireland.

The eighth amendment – article 40.3.3 of the Irish constitution – which prohibited abortion, will be replaced with a clause stating: “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.”

The Irish government is planning to bring legislation before the Dáil, providing for abortion on request up to the 12th week of pregnancy, with a three-day “cooling off” period before medication is administered.

The prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said he wanted the new law to be enacted by the end of the year.

Between 12 and 24 weeks, abortion will be available only in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, a risk to a woman’s life or a risk of serious harm to the health of the mother. After 24 weeks, termination will be possible in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

There will be provision for conscientious objection among medical practitioners, although doctors will be obliged to transfer care of the pregnant woman to another doctor.

A resident of the town said Donegal’s vote against the change made him feel “proud” of the area.

“There are special cases, like when a girl has been raped. But at the same time I just think life is precious and now they’re just throwing it all away. I know that might be kind of a silly attitude, but I think life is precious.”

“I wouldn’t tell a lot of people that I voted no because a lot of people have a one-track mind,” he said.

“The government will do what it wants to do. If it hadn’t been a yes vote they would have had another referendum down the road in six months’ time.”

Ross Horron said he chose not to vote in the referendum: “I think it’s a decision for women to make.”

Hospitals struggling to afford new equipment after NHS budget cuts

Hospitals can no longer afford the most modern scanners and surgical equipment to treat patients who have cancer and other diseases because of multibillion-pound cuts to the NHS’s capital budget, research reveals.

Staff are having to continue using vital diagnostic and treatment technology beyond its natural life because there are insufficient funds to replace it.

For example, radiographers are using out-of-date scanners that produce images so unclear they impede correct diagnosis. In one case, 200 patients had to be rescanned because the images of their lumps, tumours and broken bones were of such poor quality.

Ambulances are breaking down because they have been kept in service for too long, and hospitals are having to continue using archaic IT systems in the wake of repeated government raids on NHS capital funding, the researchers heard. One trust had to scrap plans to bring in electronic scheduling of operations because it could not afford the technology.

Others are unable to expand their A&E units to help them cope with rising patient numbers, while some lack the money to repair rotten windows and leaking roofs in hospital buildings because of the cash squeeze.

The problems are outlined in research conducted at 30 trusts by the health services management centre at Birmingham University and funded by the Health Foundation, a thinktank.

Trust bosses told the academics the lack of money for new equipment and repairs had started to affect the quality and safety of patient care.

“The surroundings that they [patients] are actually being cared for in are appalling and we all know … that those surroundings do impact the recovery rate. So in that respect it is impacting their recovery as well,” one NHS trust finance director said.

Since 2014 Jeremy Hunt, the health and social care secretary, has taken £4.3bn from the NHS in England’s capital budget and used it to help pay for day-to-day running costs, in response to its deepening financial crisis. In 2016-17 alone he removed £1.2bn, a fifth of the entire capital budget.

“This has left the NHS between a rock and a hard place, postponing and cutting vital capital investment to fund day-to-day running costs,” said Anita Charlesworth, the Health Foundation’s director of research and economics. “It’s clear that shortfalls in NHS capital spending are starting to hurt: spending on new equipment such as medical scanners has more than halved over the last four years.”

NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, said the shortage of capital funding was so acute that hospitals could not afford to replace outmoded machines that deliver radiotherapy to cancer patients.

“Just in the last few days one trust leader told us of frustrating delays in funding needed to improve an emergency department. Another spoke of her worries about being able to replace linear accelerators. But as we see in this report, this is also a major problem for mental health, community and ambulance services as well,” said Phillippa Hentsch, the organisation’s head of analysis.

A separate analysis of NHS finances by the Health Foundation found that capital spending for healthcare, such as for hospitals and equipment, in the UK was low compared with other OECD countries, at 0.3% of GDP compared with an average of 0.5%.

Increasing the percentage spent in the UK to the OECD average would mean the NHS had another £3bn a year for such projects, it said.

Charlesworth said: “The maintenance backlog for hospitals is now over £5bn. Most worryingly, £2.8bn of this backlog is high or significant risk, related to clinical services and safety.” She said cutting capital spending was “a false economy” that made hospitals inefficient and prevented them from improving patient care.

One trust boss said £40m of “priority one high-risk” urgent repairs were needed in one year, but only £11m was available for them.

On Wednesday Labour will use parliamentary procedure to try to force ministers to disclose documents that reveal what elements of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 they want to scrap.

There have been reports that Theresa May is keen to repeal some sections of the legislation to help pave the way for an overhaul of how the service works, tied to a big increase in NHS funding planned to mark its 70th birthday on 5 July.

Nurses falling ill after inhaling spice fumes in prisons, says union

Nurses treating prisoners who have fallen ill after smoking the psychoactive drug spice are suffering adverse effects to their own health after inhaling fumes, the nursing union has said.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says that under current guidance its members are expected to enter cells before smoke has cleared. As a result they are reporting to the union that they are suffering the effects of inhaling the substance for hours following exposure, with some unable to drive home after their shift, it says.

In at least one case, a nurse was taken to A&E by ambulance after being knocked unconscious by the psychoactive fumes.

One nurse, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Recently we’ve had to give medical care to over 50 people [who have been smoking spice] in one week. Walking back after attending to a patient, I’ve suddenly felt dizzy, nauseous – it’s almost like the world has zoomed out.

“It’s really bizarre. I’ve sat in my car in the carpark for 50 minutes after work so I feel confident enough to drive. We’re all worried about driving in case it’s not safe or we get stopped and it shows in our system.”

Use of psychoactive substances is widespread in UK jails and the Prison Officers Association has previously warned about the impact on its members. Last month, Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS foundation trust withdrew nursing staff from Holme House prison in County Durham due to the risk posed by spice.

The RCN has written to the head of the prison service (HMPPS) demanding more is done to protect nurses from the effects of the drug.

Janet Davies, the RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “As dedicated health professionals, prison nursing staff are expected to offer high quality care, but they should not be expected to put their own wellbeing on the line to deliver it.”

The union argues that HMPPS guidance fails to distinguish between the longer-term issue of secondhand tobacco smoke and the “serious and acute issue” of exposure to spice.

The guidance also outlines a duty “to intervene to protect a prisoner(s) or member of staff in danger of immediate harm in a cell where smoke or fumes has not yet cleared”.

The RCN says such a requirement is unacceptable for healthcare staff, given that emergency responders are advised, under Resuscitation Council guidelines, to ensure their own safety before treating casualties.

Nurses falling ill after inhaling spice fumes in prisons, says union

Nurses treating prisoners who have fallen ill after smoking the psychoactive drug spice are suffering adverse effects to their own health after inhaling fumes, the nursing union has said.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says that under current guidance its members are expected to enter cells before smoke has cleared. As a result they are reporting to the union that they are suffering the effects of inhaling the substance for hours following exposure, with some unable to drive home after their shift, it says.

In at least one case, a nurse was taken to A&E by ambulance after being knocked unconscious by the psychoactive fumes.

One nurse, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Recently we’ve had to give medical care to over 50 people [who have been smoking spice] in one week. Walking back after attending to a patient, I’ve suddenly felt dizzy, nauseous – it’s almost like the world has zoomed out.

“It’s really bizarre. I’ve sat in my car in the carpark for 50 minutes after work so I feel confident enough to drive. We’re all worried about driving in case it’s not safe or we get stopped and it shows in our system.”

Use of psychoactive substances is widespread in UK jails and the Prison Officers Association has previously warned about the impact on its members. Last month, Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS foundation trust withdrew nursing staff from Holme House prison in County Durham due to the risk posed by spice.

The RCN has written to the head of the prison service (HMPPS) demanding more is done to protect nurses from the effects of the drug.

Janet Davies, the RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “As dedicated health professionals, prison nursing staff are expected to offer high quality care, but they should not be expected to put their own wellbeing on the line to deliver it.”

The union argues that HMPPS guidance fails to distinguish between the longer-term issue of secondhand tobacco smoke and the “serious and acute issue” of exposure to spice.

The guidance also outlines a duty “to intervene to protect a prisoner(s) or member of staff in danger of immediate harm in a cell where smoke or fumes has not yet cleared”.

The RCN says such a requirement is unacceptable for healthcare staff, given that emergency responders are advised, under Resuscitation Council guidelines, to ensure their own safety before treating casualties.

Nurses falling ill after inhaling spice fumes in prisons, says union

Nurses treating prisoners who have fallen ill after smoking the psychoactive drug spice are suffering adverse effects to their own health after inhaling fumes, the nursing union has said.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says that under current guidance its members are expected to enter cells before smoke has cleared. As a result they are reporting to the union that they are suffering the effects of inhaling the substance for hours following exposure, with some unable to drive home after their shift, it says.

In at least one case, a nurse was taken to A&E by ambulance after being knocked unconscious by the psychoactive fumes.

One nurse, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Recently we’ve had to give medical care to over 50 people [who have been smoking spice] in one week. Walking back after attending to a patient, I’ve suddenly felt dizzy, nauseous – it’s almost like the world has zoomed out.

“It’s really bizarre. I’ve sat in my car in the carpark for 50 minutes after work so I feel confident enough to drive. We’re all worried about driving in case it’s not safe or we get stopped and it shows in our system.”

Use of psychoactive substances is widespread in UK jails and the Prison Officers Association has previously warned about the impact on its members. Last month, Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS foundation trust withdrew nursing staff from Holme House prison in County Durham due to the risk posed by spice.

The RCN has written to the head of the prison service (HMPPS) demanding more is done to protect nurses from the effects of the drug.

Janet Davies, the RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “As dedicated health professionals, prison nursing staff are expected to offer high quality care, but they should not be expected to put their own wellbeing on the line to deliver it.”

The union argues that HMPPS guidance fails to distinguish between the longer-term issue of secondhand tobacco smoke and the “serious and acute issue” of exposure to spice.

The guidance also outlines a duty “to intervene to protect a prisoner(s) or member of staff in danger of immediate harm in a cell where smoke or fumes has not yet cleared”.

The RCN says such a requirement is unacceptable for healthcare staff, given that emergency responders are advised, under Resuscitation Council guidelines, to ensure their own safety before treating casualties.

Nurses falling ill after inhaling spice fumes in prisons, says union

Nurses treating prisoners who have fallen ill after smoking the psychoactive drug spice are suffering adverse effects to their own health after inhaling fumes, the nursing union has said.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says that under current guidance its members are expected to enter cells before smoke has cleared. As a result they are reporting to the union that they are suffering the effects of inhaling the substance for hours following exposure, with some unable to drive home after their shift, it says.

In at least one case, a nurse was taken to A&E by ambulance after being knocked unconscious by the psychoactive fumes.

One nurse, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Recently we’ve had to give medical care to over 50 people [who have been smoking spice] in one week. Walking back after attending to a patient, I’ve suddenly felt dizzy, nauseous – it’s almost like the world has zoomed out.

“It’s really bizarre. I’ve sat in my car in the carpark for 50 minutes after work so I feel confident enough to drive. We’re all worried about driving in case it’s not safe or we get stopped and it shows in our system.”

Use of psychoactive substances is widespread in UK jails and the Prison Officers Association has previously warned about the impact on its members. Last month, Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS foundation trust withdrew nursing staff from Holme House prison in County Durham due to the risk posed by spice.

The RCN has written to the head of the prison service (HMPPS) demanding more is done to protect nurses from the effects of the drug.

Janet Davies, the RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “As dedicated health professionals, prison nursing staff are expected to offer high quality care, but they should not be expected to put their own wellbeing on the line to deliver it.”

The union argues that HMPPS guidance fails to distinguish between the longer-term issue of secondhand tobacco smoke and the “serious and acute issue” of exposure to spice.

The guidance also outlines a duty “to intervene to protect a prisoner(s) or member of staff in danger of immediate harm in a cell where smoke or fumes has not yet cleared”.

The RCN says such a requirement is unacceptable for healthcare staff, given that emergency responders are advised, under Resuscitation Council guidelines, to ensure their own safety before treating casualties.

Nurses falling ill after inhaling spice fumes in prisons, says union

Nurses treating prisoners who have fallen ill after smoking the psychoactive drug spice are suffering adverse effects to their own health after inhaling fumes, the nursing union has said.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says that under current guidance its members are expected to enter cells before smoke has cleared. As a result they are reporting to the union that they are suffering the effects of inhaling the substance for hours following exposure, with some unable to drive home after their shift, it says.

In at least one case, a nurse was taken to A&E by ambulance after being knocked unconscious by the psychoactive fumes.

One nurse, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Recently we’ve had to give medical care to over 50 people [who have been smoking spice] in one week. Walking back after attending to a patient, I’ve suddenly felt dizzy, nauseous – it’s almost like the world has zoomed out.

“It’s really bizarre. I’ve sat in my car in the carpark for 50 minutes after work so I feel confident enough to drive. We’re all worried about driving in case it’s not safe or we get stopped and it shows in our system.”

Use of psychoactive substances is widespread in UK jails and the Prison Officers Association has previously warned about the impact on its members. Last month, Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS foundation trust withdrew nursing staff from Holme House prison in County Durham due to the risk posed by spice.

The RCN has written to the head of the prison service (HMPPS) demanding more is done to protect nurses from the effects of the drug.

Janet Davies, the RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “As dedicated health professionals, prison nursing staff are expected to offer high quality care, but they should not be expected to put their own wellbeing on the line to deliver it.”

The union argues that HMPPS guidance fails to distinguish between the longer-term issue of secondhand tobacco smoke and the “serious and acute issue” of exposure to spice.

The guidance also outlines a duty “to intervene to protect a prisoner(s) or member of staff in danger of immediate harm in a cell where smoke or fumes has not yet cleared”.

The RCN says such a requirement is unacceptable for healthcare staff, given that emergency responders are advised, under Resuscitation Council guidelines, to ensure their own safety before treating casualties.

Nurses falling ill after inhaling spice fumes in prisons, says union

Nurses treating prisoners who have fallen ill after smoking the psychoactive drug spice are suffering adverse effects to their own health after inhaling fumes, the nursing union has said.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says that under current guidance its members are expected to enter cells before smoke has cleared. As a result they are reporting to the union that they are suffering the effects of inhaling the substance for hours following exposure, with some unable to drive home after their shift, it says.

In at least one case, a nurse was taken to A&E by ambulance after being knocked unconscious by the psychoactive fumes.

One nurse, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Recently we’ve had to give medical care to over 50 people [who have been smoking spice] in one week. Walking back after attending to a patient, I’ve suddenly felt dizzy, nauseous – it’s almost like the world has zoomed out.

“It’s really bizarre. I’ve sat in my car in the carpark for 50 minutes after work so I feel confident enough to drive. We’re all worried about driving in case it’s not safe or we get stopped and it shows in our system.”

Use of psychoactive substances is widespread in UK jails and the Prison Officers Association has previously warned about the impact on its members. Last month, Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS foundation trust withdrew nursing staff from Holme House prison in County Durham due to the risk posed by spice.

The RCN has written to the head of the prison service (HMPPS) demanding more is done to protect nurses from the effects of the drug.

Janet Davies, the RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “As dedicated health professionals, prison nursing staff are expected to offer high quality care, but they should not be expected to put their own wellbeing on the line to deliver it.”

The union argues that HMPPS guidance fails to distinguish between the longer-term issue of secondhand tobacco smoke and the “serious and acute issue” of exposure to spice.

The guidance also outlines a duty “to intervene to protect a prisoner(s) or member of staff in danger of immediate harm in a cell where smoke or fumes has not yet cleared”.

The RCN says such a requirement is unacceptable for healthcare staff, given that emergency responders are advised, under Resuscitation Council guidelines, to ensure their own safety before treating casualties.