Mobiles finally admitted to English hospitals
Hello? I'm on the trolley
England is catching up with Scotland and Wales in liberalising mobile phone use in hospitals, a mere five years after it was established that such use didn't present a significant risk to medical equipment.
The guidance comes from the Department of Health and states that outside intensive care, and specialist baby units, mobile phones should be allowed - though the final decision will be up to local trusts.
Having established that mobile phones won't interfere with the vast majority of medical equipment, the argument comes down to the more prevalent privacy and decency concerns. Camera phones could present privacy issues, but of greater concern is the threat to common decency now we can't expect polite behaviour any more.
As Nigel Edwards, director of policy from the NHS Confederation, told the BBC, what concerns hospital managers is "the noise of annoying ring tones or the kind of loud phone conversations that already plague much of everyday life. Doctors and nurses doing their rounds should not have to constantly wait for patients to finish phone calls and night-times on wards should not be disturbed by the chirruping of text messages."
It seems unlikely such arguments will prevent mobile phone use spreading into hospital wards, but legislating against impolite behaviour is always difficult. While the news may dent the profits of Patientline, most patients will relish the opportunity to share their condition with friends and relatives. ®
this could spell disaster for the newly formed Hospedia (formerly Patientline)
if mobiles are accepted into all hospitals (some hospitals could still ban them)
as Hospedia makes most money out of the phone calls (they have promised to bring the charges down) and some out of the tv service. i wonder if they will go the same way as Patientline.
Good news but
You will sadly get the dickheads that insist on shouting to show they are on a mobile but most decent people will consider their surroundings and others.
@Andy Barber Please accept my condolences
@DJ You'd have my full backing if they did not comply with a reasonable request.
Here's hoping patientcrime become a victim of the credit crunch
Be nice ladies
My wife was in hospital recently, i used my phone extensively, i had it on silent and vibrate and only texted (and i HATE texting), having a voice conversation in a hospital seemed WRONG to me.
Didn't stop the lady in the next bed having a LOUD and expensive patientline conversation though !
Set the wife up with the patientline system then discovered she had no headphones, then contacted the helpline to request headphones and they said someone would be out MONDAY, they don't work the weekends ?. Eventually stole a set of headphones from a empty bed for the night for her and brought her a new set in from home the next day.
A lot of you complainers have obviously never had to deal with a sick relative in an emergency situation, as if often the case in hospitals. I don't like cellphone rudeness, but it's a god send to have a cellphone in the hospital when you're trying to reach people and find out what's going on. What a selfish lot you've all (again) turned out to be.
Obviously, there should be some rules in place so they aren't disruptive, but that's easy.
Phones in hospitals
My mother has been in hospital for most of the last year and without her mobile things would be much more difficult than they already are.
I visit when I can, but I live over 2 hours drive away (on a good day) so I can't just pop in on my way home from work. She is not completely immobile but not far off (especially if she has been to theatre recently) and anyway, she is not allowed off hospital grounds so cannot shop for herself or do her own washing.
So if she needs something she can just phone me and I can do it, otherwise she may have to wait weeks, which may not be acceptable. The patientline phones are not installed at every bed in her hospital and about 10% of them seem to be faulty at any time so even if she wanted to pay the 20p/min to phone me, and even if I wanted to pay the 48p/min (with 2 minutes of welcome to X hospital, you have phoned number Y, which is patient Z. Please hold if that is correct bullshit) to phone her often this is not possible.
I am sure loud mobile ringing is irritating, so make patients turn them down, and I am sure some people insist on finishing their call / text / email before speaking to a doctor, but that is not inherently a problem with mobile phones, that is inherently a problem with arseholes being arseholes.
Hospitals should be able to take action against patients who offend others or disrupt the system in the same way they do so in the cases of abusive / violent patients and patients who refuse treatment.
Eventually we will probably have "quiet" wards in the same way there are quiet carriages on trains. Then everyone will be happy.