So the ban on mobile phone use in hospitals is being relaxed. Not that patients had been taking any notice of it in the first place.

In my two most recent lengthy waits in hospital waiting rooms, I have been party to the following mobile conversations.

First, a young girl telling someone (who was, I fear, the father of her child) that she was four months pregnant and no, she didn't understand how she had got that far on without noticing either.

Second, a woman using the wait for a scan to make arrangements for her grandmother's funeral.

Third, a woman giving directions into her phone about how to drive to Ipswich from north London, including, oddly, instructions on how to use a petrol station. She was whispering because, as she explained to the person on the other end of the line, she was in a hospital so had to whisper. Perhaps she mistook the room for the library.

Experts now say mobiles do not need to be restricted for technical reasons - ie, interfering with medical equipment. But I think they should be restricted out of sheer politeness.

Mobile users everywhere now seem to forget, or forget to care, that others can hear their conversations. How often have you heard someone on a mobile reveal personal information - date of birth, address etc - or go into an excruciatingly detailed account of a row with their beloved or some sexual encounter?

And as the NHS Confederation's Nigel Edwards pointed out to the Beeb, the last thing anyone attempting to get some sleep on a ward needs is the constant beep of text messages.

I can see how their use could come in handy for the bed-bound, although am I right in thinking that these days anyone ill enough to be confined to bed is likely to be feeling rather too poorly to be calling their mates? For the rest of us there is usually a spot - in communal areas, say - well away from expensive looking machines that we can hobble to for a quick call.

So I look forward to what trusts will decide is acceptable mobile phone use and what causes a "nuisance". But I fear that as a nation we may have to brace ourselves for some gruesome "before and after treatment" mobile phone picture taking.