8 October 2015
Rebecca Impson, supported by Tracey Williams-Macklin, Head of Occupational Therapy, persuaded a panel of five “dragons” that her idea of setting up a falls prevention education and support group was the best of the eight shortlisted ideas.
Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Colchester General Hospital, awarded Ms Impson £250 to use in her department and will also help her to set up a pilot group.
All candidates shortlisted in the Enter the Dragons! competition had to pitch their ideas to, and answer questions from, a panel comprising Professor Patrick Geoghegan, former chairman of the Postgraduate Medical Institute (PMI) at Anglia Ruskin University; Dr Anne Blackwood, Chief Executive of Health Enterprise East; John Crookenden, Chairman of the Trust’s Organ Donation Committee; Dr Tim Howes, a consultant chest physician at the Trust; and Trust Chief Executive Dr Lucy Moore.
The Enter the Dragons! initiative was led by Dr Roy Miller, Associate Director for Clinical Effectiveness and Innovation, and supported by the Trust’s Research and Development Department.
Speaking afterwards, Dr Miller said: “”We’re very pleased with the level of interest we had – a total of 43 entries – and the wide range of staff who put themselves forward. We recognise that members of staff have good ideas but sometimes it’s difficult to get them implemented.The aim of the competition was to give innovation a head start and to put some of the best ideas into practice.”
Ms Impson’s falls group will be for patients on care of the elderly wards who have fallen and also for their relatives.
The plan is for the group to meet at Colchester General Hospital during visiting hours and to include input from a doctor, pharmacist, dietitian, occupational therapist and physiotherapist.
Currently, only an information leaflet is provided but the support group will provide patients and carers with an opportunity to ask questions of a multidisciplinary team.
Ms Impson said: “The project would help patients and relatives with expert advice and support right from the outset and connect them with our community falls health care partners after discharge.
“Working with patients and relatives as early as possible and focusing on their individual needs will help us to provide a more collaborative, joined-up and co-ordinated pathway.”
The runner-up was Mr Subash Vasudevan, consultant colorectal surgeon, whose idea is to invest £21,000 in equipment to examine patients with constipation or faecal incontinence who currently have to travel to London for tests.
The panel of dragons supported his suggestion and encouraged Dr Vasudevan to develop a business case to see if the Trust would pay for anal manometry equipment.
Dr Moore presented certificates to staff who had come up with the short-listed ideas and also glass trophies to the winners and runner-up.
“It was an inspiring evening but the fabulous ideas of staff and came as no surprise because the CQC told us after their inspection here last month that they had found good examples of innovation in a number of service areas,” she said.