"Mobile phones should be banned from wards!"

About: Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital / Cardiology

(as the patient),

In September 2008 following surgery for an ICD implant I was admitted to ward A where I expected to rest/recover. In the ward there was no TV and it was also being watched by selfish patients late at night and also in the early hours of the morning ward staff did nothing about this. If that wasn’t bad enough three patients had mobile phones and used them throughout the day and late into the night. Again ward staff did nothing about this. Needless to write I got very little sleep and felt very stressed which did nothing to aid my post-op recovery. In May 2009, I attended an ultrasound department for a scan on my heart to check the ICD implant. Whilst sitting in the waiting room a male patient arrived for his appointment, sat next to me and promptly got out his mobile phone connected the ear phones and proceeded to use the phone and also listen to music. This could be heard by other patients due to the high volume, but again nothing was done by the staff about this. The action of these selfish and mannered patients is disgraceful and shows no thought to the wellbeing of other poorly people. If one is in hospital then you are there due to illness and therefore do not need a mobile phone. If a phone is required there are trolley phones which can be brought to the bedside or if possible the ward phone can be used if urgent. TV sets should be in the day room not one the wards to ensure peace, quiet and rest. Mobile phones and personal stereos should be banned in all hospitals in order to ensure rest for poorly patients and protect their vulnerability.

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Response from Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital

Thank you for your comments. We are sorry that your inpatient stay was disturbed by noise from the televisions on the ward and from patients using their mobile phones. On behalf of the Trust please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you experienced. Mobile phones are not permitted to be used in clinical areas of the hospital, although we do allow the use of mobile phone in non-clinical areas in the hospital, for example – the main reception or corridors. However, the use of mobile phones to take photographs or record images is forbidden as this is an infringement of patient confidentiality.

Your comments will be shared with all Ward Managers who will be asked to remind staff to make patients aware of the policy on the use of mobile phones and to ask patients to consider other patients on the ward whilst watching television late in the evening.

Again, we apologise for the noise you experienced and hope that this did not detract from the level of care and treatment you received.