Can I use my mobile phone?

At the Royal Free, we understand that there are times when our patients and visitors will wish to use their mobile phone.

You are free to use your phone in public and communal areas – but we do ask you to be careful. Mobile phones present a risk to our patients as they could affect medical equipment, such as heart monitors and infusion pumps.

We also ask you to respect that a patient who is ill needs rest and quiet, and that the use of mobile phones could disturb them. If a member of staff asks you to switch off your phone, or move to a safer area, please do so.

Where can I use my mobile phone?

Your phone should not be switched on in clinics, or the hospital wards.

Hospital staff, such as the ward sister, charge nurse or manager of the area, may let you use your phone. This will depend on the circumstances, and you should not do so unless they have given you permission.

You can use your mobile phone in public and communal areas such as hospital entrances, the coffee shop, and on the concourses outside the hospital ward. Look for the green mobile phone signs.

Even in those circumstances, you should not use your phone within two metres of a patient who is connected to medical equipment.

You must not take photographs of members of staff or other patients without permission.

Should hospital staff be using mobile phones?

Sometimes you will see clinical staff carrying a mobile phone. This is so they may be contacted in an emergency. They are aware of the risks of using mobile phones in a hospital and if their phone affects nearby equipment, they are trained to respond appropriately.

Staff will also use cordless telephones connected to the hospital switchboard. These are much lower power than mobile phones and are not considered to be an important risk to hospital equipment. They should not, however, be used very close to medical devices.

Please co-operate with hospital staff

Our staff have a difficult job. Please do not make it harder by not following their requests. The trust operates a violence and aggression policy which allows us to exclude anyone from our hospitals who is violent or aggressive.