Patients will be allowed to use their mobile phones in designated areas in all NHS hospitals in Wales, health minister Edwina Hart announced at the end of last week.
Health boards will determine the exact arrangements to minimise potential noise and disruption for other patients.
Hart also announced that current contracts with the providers of hospital phone and TV systems will not be renewed once they end. Until then, health boards will be required to publicise charges more prominently.
The Welsh Assembly Government made a commitment to reform hospital TV and phone charges in the One Wales agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru.
Hart said: “The announcement will give people the choice of which phone they want to use and it can keep 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. They must therefore be respectful of other patients when using mobile phones, even in the designated areas.”
The Department of Health issued new guidance on the use of mobile phones in hosptials in England in January last year.
The NHS Choices website says patients should now be allowed to use mobile phones in hospitals, although there may be some exceptions and photography and video recording will probably not be allowed.
© 2010 E-HEALTH-MEDIA LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Register: To add a comment you must be registered.