Communication with family and friends is an essential element of support and comfort for patients either in hospital or those attending as an outpatient.
Modern technology has made communication easy particularly with the widespread use of mobile phones, text messaging and e-mail. However, mobile phones also commonly have extended functions, including camera and video recording capability and music players.
Whilst there is no blanket ban on the use of mobile phones in hospitals, there are risks associated with breaches of privacy and dignity and for this reason some restrictions must apply.
The use of cameras, including camera phones can cause a breach of a patient’s privacy and dignity, particularly when they are used without the subject’s permission. We therefore ask that patients do not use cameras within the hospital unless permission has been sought and granted by a member of staff, as well as any other patients who may be affected.
With respect to ring tones, loud and repetitive ring tones can disturb other patients, as can loud telephone conversations, and we would ask that alert notifications (eg vibrate) are used rather than audible ring tones, and that wherever possible telephone conversations are kept relatively short.
In addition, phones should not to be charged in the ward/department and under no circumstances must any equipment be unplugged to facilitate charging.