Mobile phone use 'should be allowed in hospitals'

12 January 2009 — 6:00 PM

Using a mobile phone in a hospital should be allowed because there is little chance of electrical interference, it was claimed this week.

John Dunn is the editor at IT website Techworld and said patients and visitors should be permitted to use handsets. Currently, many healthcare facilities restrict mobile phone use.

He said the "overwhelming majority" of sensitive devices are protected from interference and the user is usually too far away to make a difference.

However, Mr Dunn added that with extended use, there is a demand for quiet or mobile-free zones.

"In hospitals that seems fair policy. I doubt patients will be able to use phones all the time and everywhere," he explained, going on to say that one place where handsets will probably never be allowed is at petrol stations because operators still claim it is dangerous.

Mr Dunn's comments follow a recent report from the Department of Health, which recommended that NHS trusts should allow and restrict mobile phone use where they consider appropriate.

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