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Government lifts hospital mobile phone ban

The risk of interference from a mobile phone on hospital equipment has always been considered too great to allow them to be used in hospitals

Hospitals in the UK are set to lift the ban on mobile phones this spring, following an announcement by Health Minister Andy Burnham .

Advice issued last year by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency ( MHRA ) said there was now no reason for mobiles to be banned outright in hospitals - but there should still be restrictions for using them around specialist equipment.

According to the BBC , Mr Burnham said: "As technology has moved on it is right that we update our guidance on mobile phones to reflect that."

"We recognise that patients and staff should be able to use mobile phones, where it is appropriate to do so and subject to medical and privacy considerations."

He added NHS trusts would be responsible for agreeing their own policy on mobile phone usage.

Earlier this week, research from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA, found mobile phone use did not interfere with hospital equipment.