The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB) NHS Foundation Trust operates across five hospitals in Derbyshire and Staffordshire. The trust employs over 13,000 clinical and non-clinical staff members and has served a population of approximately 1 million people. In the year 2019-2020 the trust has accommodated 1.2 million outpatient appointments and 230,000 inpatient admissions.

The Problem

Thanks to the evolution of smartphones, key hospital staff including clinicians, consultants, doctors, nurses, and hospital operations staff use their mobile phones as their main communication device. However, the poor in-building mobile signal was causing major problems in tracking down and getting hold of staff members. The issue was particularly critical as contacting on-call staff during an emergency was proving difficult within areas of the hospital including A&E due to poor indoor connectivity. The communication delays in such a time-critical environment became increasingly unacceptable.

Business Needs

Although Network issues were prevalent for all four networks, the Head of Voice at UHDB wanted to prioritise improving their corporate network in the Kings Treatment Centre, Security Offices, Pharmacy Stores, and Estates Offices at the Royal Derby Hospital in the first phase of installation.

Soon after the completion of the first phase of installation, UHDB commissioned the second phase of the multi-floor signal booster installation for all four networks within their Adult & Children’s Emergency Departments of the Royal Derby Hospital, to improve patient care.

The Solution

Analysing the client’s requirements, budget, and timeline, Cel-Fi Solo was the recommended solution for both phases of installation.


The complex building structure and concrete floors posed challenges in running the cables between the floors and getting the antennas to the intended areas of the hospital. However, our experienced installation team was able to overcome the challenges and install the solution successfully with minimum disruption.

UHDB Signal Strengths_compressed_white

The Results

Following the installation of the signal boosters, a significant signal gain was possible in all the area covered. The installation resulted in significantly improved staff communications and responsiveness in critical situations, thus an overall improvement in hospital operations and patient care

Testimonial from University Hospitals of Burton and Derby

Following their first-hand experience of using CEL-FI solution, Simon Reynolds, Head of Voice at University Hospitals of Burton and Derby agreed to share his experience in a webinar organised by Frequency Telecom.

“Installing a CEL-FI solution has had two folds benefit, improving local coverage for staff, and reducing pressure on the local networks as patients and visitors could continue to use mobile network regardless of the provider they were using.”

“This was a win-win in those areas (where the solution was installed). Looking forward, I think we are only going to continue to see growth in how these (CEL-FI) devices are used. Our volume of smart devices is increasing consistently as we move forward, and we’re going to always need to look for ways of improving this (signal) in other areas as our services decide to make use of technology.”

“Staff are now able to use their mobile devices far more effectively in their role of providing clinical services. Furthermore, both staff and patients are now able to communicate much more easily with those based within the buildings and out with the hospital premises. We would certainly consider CEL-FI solutions in other areas if the need arises. Quite happily recommend CEL-FI as a solution, it seems to work very-very well and certainly met our needs, thank you.”