Anger at discarded face masks and cigarette butts at Wigan hospital site

A concerned councillor has voiced his disgust at people discarding Covid masks on a hospital site and for dumping cigarette butts.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 11:58 am
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 12:02 pm

Coun Lawrence Hunt came across the masks at Wigan Infirmary recently and collected three bags with volunteers.

The problem is particularly potent around the hospital’s Freckleton Street car park, according to Coun Hunt.

He has written to the trust demanding action against what he said was an “eyesore” which could “destroy wildlife”.

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Coun Hunt with the discarded Covid masks

He said: “When people visit, they are required to take off the mask they are wearing and given a new one. What happens to the old mask is a lot of people throw them and they end up all over the place.

“I would like the trust to look at their mask policy, increase litter patrols and provide a clinical waste bin.”

And Coun Hunt has also written to the trust about discarded cigarette stumps at the old public bus shelter at the front of the hospital.

He said: “There are hundreds of cigarette stumps. You see hospital staff smoking in their uniform and going back to work and this is cross contamination.

Discarded cigarettes

“The hospital has a no smoking policy in the grounds but it’s putting the problem onto the public.”

David Evans, director of estates and facilities at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We appreciate these concerns brought forward by Coun Hunt regarding issues at the Freckleton Street car park and plan to tackle them straight away.

“We will continue to work closely with Wigan Council to make sure that these areas are kept clean and tidy, and we are planning to increase cleaning on a regular basis, including along the external wall outside of the hospital itself.

“As a trust, it’s important that we continue to communicate our policies on smoking, littering and uniform to remind staff of their responsibilities in helping to keep the area as clean and tidy as possible. As part of this process we will also be providing additional signage externally to reinforce the message.”