Dragons Den challenge for new patient innovation in sexual health

Staff from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (CPFT) Sexual Health Service teams have pitched their ideas about how to improve their services for patients.

Senior leaders used a Dragons Den approach to find the best innovation within the service that will most benefit patients. Altogether five teams from across the county presented their ideas to the panel of ‘Dragons’.

Ideas from teams included revamps of waiting rooms, new specialist equipment, a team building away day and turning the sexual health service more digital.

One of the ‘Dragons’, Clare Parker, Interim Director of Quality and Nursing at CPFT said:

“It was fantastic listening to the pitches and hearing all the creative ideas the teams came up with and seeing the amount of enthusiasm and effort that they put in to their presentations. It was really difficult to pick the winners as each team truly deserved to be rewarded, which is why we are going to take on board and implement all the ideas presented to us.”

The dragons on the day were Clare Parker, Interim Director of Quality and Nursing at CPFT, Nina Hill, Senior Network Manager for Specialist Services at CPFT and Andrew Wilkinson, Business Manager at CPFT.

After careful deliberation the board of Dragons revealed the two winners.

  • The refurbishment of waiting rooms in Barrow and Carlisle would mean that patients would be able to wait for their appointments in a more relaxed atmosphere and have better privacy.
  • In order to improve shared learning and support across the county a team away day will be facilitated. Staff explained to the Dragons that because the teams are spread across the county there is little opportunity to share learning or get to know each other, so a team away day would be the first step to sharing best practice and improving team work to better support patient’s needs.

Other ideas will not be wasted though; they will all be supported either through sourcing funding or with help from the Business Managers in the Trust.

Matt Phillips, Clinical Director in Sexual Health Services at CPFT also shared Dragon duties and said:

“I really loved hearing the pitches at our Dragons Den.  All of the teams had put so much work in, and had kept the patient experience and quality considerations firmly at the centre of their ideas. The competition was very strong and it was a great opportunity for sharing and discussing future innovations.”

Photo shows the five Dragons Den teams.