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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK
Hospital to ban flower bouquets
Courtesy of freefoto.com
The ban covers all wards at Dorset County Hospital
A hospital in Dorset has announced a ban on bouquets of flowers because of the risk of infection.

From Monday, flowers delivered to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester will either be turned away or relatives will be asked to take them home.

The ban at the Dorchester hospital covers all wards, a spokeswoman said.

Alison Tong, director of nursing, said: "There is evidence to show that flowers in vases that are not effectively maintained can pose an infection risk."

This decision has been made as part of an ongoing effort to keep our wards clean and tidy
Alison Tong, director of nursing

Ms Tong added that Dorset County was not the first to ban flowers in patient areas.

"Patient feedback tells us that people prefer to receive flowers when they are back home as it is difficult to transport flowers home after a stay in hospital," she said.

"This decision has been made as part of an ongoing effort to keep our wards clean and tidy.

"We have been undertaking a considerable amount of work to improve the environment for patients in hospital.

"We are aware that space is limited on wards and therefore are trying to manage that space effectively to ensure our patients are not put at any risk."

The move comes as hospital officials in South Yorkshire are considering a ban on staff wearing Crocs Shoes.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it is in talks with unions and governors about changing its dress code policy.

Hospitals in Sweden had previously banned the footwear claiming it created static electricity.

However, Crocs Shoes said the claims were unfounded, but were investigating.

Your comments

I absolutely agree with this ban and would like to see it extended. I suffer from hayfever and asthma; my job means I frequently visit people in hospital. It is not pleasant to have to leave people because I have started sneezing all over them but it would be even more unpleasant to stay. If plants do have a beneficial effect then foliage pot plants would do the same job.
Glad, Flint, Flintshire

in ICU and surgical recovery units flowers are already banned - although yes they cheer patients up I would rather see a de-cluttered environment rather than flowers left in stagnant water and petals falling all over the place. Also vases on surfaces left to stand in dust - this way there is no excuse for not properly cleaning surfaces - National Concern for Healthcare Infections (NCHI) believes patient safety is paramount and de-cluttering wards is a step in the right direction.
Bev Hurst, Wigan, Lancashire

I think flowers in hospital can be a nuisance so we have developed a bouquet made up of facecloths, soap, antiseptic wipes, eye mask and silk flowers. It looks like a gorgeous bouquet but is useful, beautiful and requires no attention. We send lots to hospitals and the feedback is always very positive from staff and patients.
Sara Pepper, Southampton, Hampshire

Plants and flowers in hospitals help people get better faster. There is a huge and still growing body of scientific evidence that exposure to plants and green surroundings improves recovery rates. Banning flowers in hospitals will actually do the reverse of what ill-informed managers want to achieve, and delay patients recovery!
Pete Frost, Llanberis, Gwynedd

I was in hospital a few months ago and the ward I was on banned flowers during my stay. One of the contributing factors was that a week earlier, a woman on the ward had needed emergency treatment. As the nurses hurried to help her, a vase was knocked to the floor. The water and broken glass hindered the resuscitation. In this situation, I would rather be alive than have flowers, thank you.
Sarah Wheatley, Birmingham, Uk

I work in a hospital which has already started banning flowers on wards and I agree with it. On wards where people have breathing difficulties it can cause problems. Flowers are left to die and make a mess. No one changes the water, the smell is disgusting and stale water can cause bacteria. Some people get more than one vase of flowers so trying to get near them to treat them is a nightmare. If you want hospitals to be clean then this should happen in every hospital. Flowers are for homes.
Joanne Bontoft, Scunthorpe

Health bosses step into Crocs row
05 Sep 07 |  South Yorkshire
Hospitals ban visitors' flowers
13 Aug 06 |  Hampshire
Flowers check to curb MRSA
30 Jun 04 |  South East Wales

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