Dragons’ Den staff innovation competition

Our annual Dragons' Den innovation competition is similar to the hit BBC television programme, though our ‘dragons’ are not as mean. It is the opportunity for staff to put forward a great idea and – if shortlisted – pitch for project funding and management support to make their proposal a reality.

A record 3,100 staff and members of the public voted for their favourite proposals in 2023. The Stammering Support Initiative was chosen as the overall winner, but nine other projects were also awarded cash support – bringing the overall total to more than £15,100 to help improve patient care.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the competition, and also to everyone who voted. You can watch the 2023 Dragons’ Den final, and read more about all ten projects which will receive funding, below.

Stammering support initiative 

Staff, parents and service users explain how the group has helped them and how the initiative has benefitted from Dragons' Den.

Emotional Wellbeing Toolkit

This educational idea for parents/carers, schools, children and young people is to develop starter Emotional Wellbeing Toolkits to help children and young people develop a range of tools and strategies to manage their emotions and feelings in a safe and effective way. The toolkit will support emotional wellbeing during times of anxiety, stress, worry and low mood and can be made by the child/young person themselves or with help and support from a parent/carer or trusted adult.

Emergency Care Physiotherapy Works

This innovative six-month pilot project to improve outcomes for patients and staff will see an Emergency Physiotherapy Practitioner (EPP) work in the Weymouth Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) alongside the multidisciplinary team (MDT). EPPs have been shown to reduce the number of adverse events within an emergency department, decrease referrals for radiographic imaging, prevent unnecessary admissions, and enable timely discharge of patients. If the pilot goes well, the aspiration will be to develop a business case to roll the service out across all our UTCs and MIUs to ensure patients right across Dorset have fair and easy access to emergency MSK assessment services.

Pressed into Action Art at Home initiative

Pressed into Action – Art at Home would see the ICSD (Intensive Community Support for Dementia) team introduce art activities to patients living in their own homes. Matching activities would also be made available in the Haymoor Day Hospital. Patients in the community would initially be given a flower press and/or a small set of watercolour paints. They would then be able to use these at home to create artwork that, in turn, will be sold to create a self-funding project. This project would help individuals engage in meaningful activities, which subsequently will help maintain cognitive and emotional health.

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