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Nurses use ‘Dragons' Den’ to pitch improvement ideas


Nurses and healthcare assistants were among frontline staff pitching ideas for improving services to senior managers at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust in an event styled on the TV programme Dragons Den.

The idea was to encourage frontline staff to bring their ideas for improving quality and care to the attention of the board, said Simon Dunn, the trust’s assistant director of human resources.

He said: “Our staff are the people who know their services inside out, so they’re the best people to suggest ideas for quality improvement.”

With a pot of £15,000 from charitable funds at their disposal, the dragons were played by the trust’s chief nurse Karen Dunderdale, its workforce director and a non-executive director. 

As with the TV show, staff had to bid for cash to fund their projects but unlike the TV show, no ideas were turned down.

The event in July saw a group of staff from wards 10 and 11 at Scunthorpe hospital secure funding to develop two dementia friendly bays on the wards.

In addition, the tissue viability team were promised cash to develop two ideas aimed at reducing the number of pressure ulcers – a pocket mirror for every nurse on the wards to help promote early detection of ulcers and a pressure ulcer grading wheel to help staff classify ulcers correctly.

The Dragons Den event formed part of the trust’s SHINE network – share, help, integrate/innovate, nurture and empower – that was set up to promote quality across the organisation.

Jeremy Daws, assistant head of quality assurance, said: “On the day, there were three very impressive pitches and I can’t wait to see each of these projects develop and also look forward to other members of staff coming forward with their good ideas.”

Further events are planned to allow more staff to pitch their ideas.





Readers' comments (2)

  • I am pleased to see that other orgnaisations are using the Dragon's Den format. The team responsible for Specialist Community Public Health Nursing education here at Swansea University have been successfully using this to encourage our students to develop new and innovative ideas for public health practice for the last few years.

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  • I've got an idea! Long, non flexible, hard bamboo stick, and a 10 lashes for each of our executive aristocrats! Why not?! ;)

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