New Department of Health guidance instructs hospitals across England to consider giving patients, staff and visitors the 'widest possible use of mobile phones' as long as it does not interfere with equipment or the privacy of others.
The guidance also states that areas where phones should not be used should be clearly indicated so that patients and staff are fully aware.
It warns that mobile phones should continue to be restricted in areas where critical care equipment susceptible to electro magnetic interference is used.
Health minister Ben Bradshaw said: ‘Mobile phones are commonplace in everyday life these days and people have told us that they’d like to be able to use their phones more in hospital to keep in touch.
'That’s why we're keen to encourage sensible use in NHS hospitals where it is safe to do so,’ he added.