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Mobile phones to be allowed in Welsh hospitals


Patients will be allowed to use their mobile phones in designated parts of hospitals in Wales, it has been announced.

In a further step towards making it cheaper for patients and visitors to call home, hospital contracts for phone and TV systems will not be renewed.

In the meantime, local health boards will be told to advertise the charges more prominently.

It follows concern about patients paying premium rates to use bedside phones or watch TV.

Health boards will decide how to comply with the policy while trying to minimise noise and disruption for other patients.

New hospitals will have TVs in single rooms and, as more rooms are refurbished, more TVs will be put in them, the Assembly government said.

Health minister Edwina Hart said: “We know that most patients and relatives want to use their personal mobile phones to keep in touch.

“Today’s announcement will give people the choice of which phone they want to use and it can keeps costs lower for patients and their families.

“Patients will need to be mindful that hospitals are a place for them to rest and recover after an operation and they must therefore be respectful of other patients when using mobile phones, even in designated areas.”


Readers' comments (4)

  • i think that the ban of mobile phone use is long outdated and its about time it was relaxed, it seems that the ban was just another money making scheme as patients with mobility issues had no other choice but to use the bedside phones forcing them into paying over the odds to keep in touch with friends and family.
    its been long proven that mobiles dont affect the majority of equipment in use in hospitals so what other reason is there to continue with the ban.

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  • I work in the US and almost all of the patients have a mobile phone of their own and all have a hospital phone for local calls by the bed. Their having a cell phone has never been an issue ( it is just accepted!) but can often cause problems when patients call relatives to tell them they have been waiting for something for a long time! The relatives then call us and demand to know what is going on. Occasionally a 'confused' patient has also called 911 for assistance! You can imagine the results of that!

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  • I work in a private hospital in Australia, and we actively encourage patients to use their mobile phones. It means significantly less staff time is wasted transferring calls to bedside phones, less noise from ringing phones as most patients choose to set their phones to vibrate, and if the patient doesn't want to receive calls, they can turn their phone off.

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  • Most phones have camera facilities and confidentiality then becomes an issue with some patients using them inappropriately,
    which does happen where I work! They are a mixed blessing.

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