STAFF, patients and visitors at Airedale Hospital can now fast-charge their mobile phones for free.

Charging stations have been installed in the main entrance area and the emergency department at the Steeton site.

Funding for the units – which each cost £12,000 – was provided by Airedale Hospital and Community Charity, courtesy of an NHS Charities Together grant.

The hospital charity worked with the NHS trust's estates team, AGH Solutions, on the project.

To use the so-called ChargeBox, people simply connect their device in an available cabinet – which can then be locked and left for half an hour.

Jodie Hearnshaw, manager of Airedale Hospital and Community Charity, says: "We recognised the need to keep people connected with loved ones. Unplanned visits to the emergency department are stressful, so being able to keep phones charged really helps to alleviate the anxiety caused by low batteries. Our aim was to improve experiences for patients and help people stay connected with family and friends in a time of need.

"In the first few days that the ChargeBox in the emergency department was up and running, it was used over 100 times – which immediately showed us that it was making an impact."