Noise Exceeds Recommended Levels in UK Hospitals

6 December 2009 (Last Updated December 6th, 2009 18:30)

Noise levels in hospital wards across the NHS in the UK exceed recommended limits, affecting patients' sleep and recovery, experts say. Loud mobile phones and the noise from patients receiving visitors raise noise levels over recommended limits, according to two separate studies.

Noise levels in hospital wards across the NHS in the UK exceed recommended limits, affecting patients' sleep and recovery, experts say.

Loud mobile phones and the noise from patients receiving visitors raise noise levels over recommended limits, according to two separate studies.

The World Health Organization said a patient should not be exposed to noise above 35 decibels or a loud whisper.

Researchers in the UK have recorded noise levels from 60dB to 90dB across NHS hospitals, according to the BBC.

To reduce noise levels, the research teams said simple measures such as nurses wearing soft-soled shoes, staff switching mobile phones on to vibrate and staff allowing visitors only in designated hours should be implemented.

After enforcing these measures in Newcastle, noise levels have come down by around 20%.