Ninewells, 11 Levels
Largest Teaching Hospital in Europe Talks with Hytera DMR Radio
Opened in 1974, Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe, and it has won an international reputation in several medical and surgical fields. But with nearly 1000 acute beds and more than 35 miles of corridors on many levels, its sheer scale can present problems – in locating staff, for example. For the hospital’s portering department, that problem has been solved by new DMR digital two-way radios from Hytera which recently replaced an outdated analog radio system.
The hospital has a large site, so there is quite a lot of walking for the staff to do as we can imagine. They covered more or less everything within the hospital. What they asked for was a two-way radio system whereby the supervisor porters could contact the staff round about the hospital, to pass work
to them, as opposed to them having to return to the base and having to go out again. “Our staff could be in the laboratory delivering specimens and they could get a radio call to go get a patient – and once they’ve done that, the supervisor will contact them and say, ‘Once you’ve finished this...”, said Ronnie Stewart, assistant portering manager. It was a big benefit to the hospital and the patients– the faster moving of patients from the wards to the departments and vice versa, and patients being discharged. It was reducing the time that the patients were waiting to get their treatment.”
The Hytera DMR system has been installed to upgrade the old analog system that they’ve had in place for a number of years. Obviously, with the advantages of the digital system it was more attractive for them to go down that route.
About 20 portable radios were in use within the portering department, plus a desktop unit installed in the porters’ lodge, from which individual tasks were assigned. These communicated via a repeater installed on Level 11 of the main building. “The site itself is quite a difficult challenge because it’s so big and obviously with the limited ERP [power level] within a hospital”, Mr. McLeod added, of radio systems supplier Scottish Communications. “The repeater itself is within a lift plant room and the antenna is on the main cooling tower. It’s a good location.”
Unlike the old analog radio system, the digital radios support person-to-person calls as well as group calls. In this way, managers can contact the porters from a base radio in their office. They can call the porters individually and talk on a one-to-one basis, or listen in to conversations as they are going along.
One particular advantage of the Hytera DMR technology is that its two time-slot has effectively
doubled the capacity of the system, and it has become practicable for workers in several other departments to benefit from radios too. And if there’s any issues, they contact one another as well they could be anywhere within the hospital. Portering staffs, who account for most of the radio traffic, have been assigned Channel 1, while others are on Channel 2.
Ronnie Stewart, Assistant Portering Manager, Ninewells Hospital, emphasized the value of the radios for lone worker protection. There’s a lone working policy over there after a certain time in the evening, and that’s linked up to the supervisor’s office over at Ninewells Hospital. If there is any issue, they can contact the supervisor by the radio in a split second.
Voice from Customer
“The Hytera hand portables have performed well and their reliability has been good, despite the rough handling that is inevitable in a portering department.
“They do get treated pretty rough, but they’ve stood up to it pretty well so far”
“I’ve been quite impressed.
“Donnie gave us several options”, but we felt that this particular radio from Hytera was sufficient for our needs, and there are definitely no problems with it. It’s a big advantage.”
--Ronnie Stewart, Assistant Portering Manager, Ninewells Hospital