The updated guidance indicates that NHS trusts should consider giving patients, staff and visitors the widest possible use of mobile phones, where it doesn't interfere with equipment, the privacy of others or cause a nuisance.
Mobile phones will still be prohibited in areas where critical care equipment susceptible to electro magnetic interference is used. These areas will be clearly marked for both patients and staff.
Health Minister Ben Bradshaw stated, "Close support and comfort from loved ones when you are poorly in hospital is essential. Mobiles 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, in addition to other services offered in hospitals such bedside payphones, TV and internet access."