Mobiles can be used in hospitals6th January 2009
The government has announced that NHS hospitals should let patients use their mobile phones.
The new guidance states that if hospital equipment or other patients' privacy are not compromised, then patients should be free to use their phones.
Five years ago, expert advice confirmed that banning mobile phones in hospitals was not necessary for technical reasons.
Nigel Edwards, director of policy from the NHS Confederation said the change in regulations should "take account" of patients' privacy.
"The last thing we want to do is to make hospitals more stressful than they need to be because of the noise of annoying ring tones or the kind of loud phone conversations that already plague much of everyday life," he said.
He added that hospital staff should not be held up by waiting for patients to end their calls and wards should not be "disturbed" by the use of mobiles.
"We need to ensure there is no free-for all and that policies supported by patients and staff are put in place such as quiet rooms and no mobile zones."
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said that the phones should not be used in intensive care and baby units, because of the risk of interfering with "sensitive" equipment.
The British Medical Association said doctors should be allowed to use mobiles and other electronic tools in order to help them communicate and improve care.
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Title: Mobiles can be used in hospitals
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 9723
Date Added: 6th Jan 2009