Dragon's Den Awards Announced

Thanks to everyone who bid in our £100,000 Dragons Den style awards. The Mersey Care ‘dragons’ declared ‘I’m in’ to 17 projects. Here are all the winners,  congratulations to everyone for their inspiring and innovative ideas.

Engagement and Experience


Mirror Mirror on the Wall aims to capture and share video feedback from service users, carers and staff to raise staff morale, share good practice and identify easy to achieve service improvements. Kiosks will be available with a portable freestanding touchscreen allowing people to easily leave video comments. Pop up banners will explain the idea and volunteers will encourage people to use it. Feedback will be shared with service managers and highlights posted on the Trust website and social media.

Windsor House


People in an acute assessment unit have often lost their confidence and sense of purpose. A small burst of physical activity can help enormously. Table tennis is an accessible sport which is fun for everyone. It's a sport that people are willing to have a go at. An outdoor table tennis table is to be installed at Windsor House to get patients and staff to participate in a social, sporting activity outside. The aim is to increase fitness levels, give people the opportunity to learn a new skill or improve existing skills, tying in with the Trust’s objectives of optimal health and wellbeing for patients and staff.

Weaver ward, Brooker Centre


Staff at Weaver ward, a female acute ward based in Halton, recognised an increase in patients admitted who present with sensory needs. They plan to improve the current quiet room to create a true sensory space that can add value to a patient’s experience and help women as part of their Positive Behavioural Support plans. The project will see the space revamped with ideas generated by patients, new sensory equipment installed, and an iPad and speakers made available for relaxation groups and other sensory activities.

Talking Mats


One in five people in the UK (up to 14 million) will experience communication difficulty at some point in their lives. Speech and language therapists support people to make complex decisions such as eating and drinking after stroke or end of life.  There is a need for people with communication difficulties to be empowered to make decisions about their own health and care and express their wishes. Talking Mats, an innovative, award winning communication tool, will give staff the training and resources to ensure patients are supported to be involved in decision making and support colleagues to do the same.

Communication Aid Lending Library Modernisation

£2000 (2x £1000)

Without a voice, people can become isolated, and their mental health can deteriorate. Communication aids have enabled patients to reconnect and Liverpool community adult speech and language therapists have a unique voice output communication aid (VOCA) lending library. The award will ensure the ongoing maintenance and modernisation of equipment so the VOCA lending library can continue.

Fern ward, Leigh Moss (previously Thomas Leigh)

£848 plus installation costs

Plain bedroom doors on a ward for people living with dementia can be particularly confusing to service users. They can inadvertently enter someone else’s room, causing disorientation, distress and sometimes incidents with other residents. Special 'dementia door wraps' will be installed on the doors of each bedroom so people can distinguish their own room, helping reduce anxiety and making them feel more at home on the ward.

North Sefton Young Onset Dementia (YOD) Support Group

£500 or £1000

People who are diagnosed under the age of 65 need to adjust to living with a long-term condition as a younger person. They might be concerned about the effects this will have on their family, relationships, finances and daily life. The team in North Sefton will develop a monthly support group specifically for service users with YOD, together with a care support group, run by experienced nurses. It will be a place where service users can get support from each other and feel comfortable being able to talk about difficulties specific to them.

Sefton Community Dental Service


The dental department within Bootle Health Centre has recently had a lovely refurbishment, but it looks very clinical and dull. Service users are often complex and require lots of TLC. Wall art with a theme that is enjoyable to view for both adults and children is to be created to make it a more inviting and reassuring.

Patient Safety Team


Music is a memory enhancer for us all. This project links the community together with music by bringing together the new Leigh Moss dementia unit and surrounding schools. It will not only use music as a stimulus for patients but introduce and forge a relationship between the local community, schools and the hospital into the future.

Knowsley Children and Young People’s Mental Health service


Writing has a way of lifting spirits, lifting hearts and lifting heads. Young people using the service will have the chance to produce some thing creative from their emotional journeys by embarking on community interest company Skywriters’ Young Skywriters programme and Young Black Skywriters programme. A book of their stories and poems will be launched at an award ceremony to celebrate their achievements.

Prison Singing Group


Singing is known to improve mental health. The sense of purpose created by coming together in harmony as a group also boosts mood and wellbeing. Over half of prisoners have poor mental health. A singing group will be established by occupational therapists, with funds used to buy instruments and song sheets. Guest musicians will be invited to come in and workshops and events will be held. Prisoners who have a talent, an interest, or passion to sing and create something that sounds good, have a chance to improve their mental wellbeing and build support networks with family, fellow inmates and professionals.

St Helens Looked After Children team


Traumatic experiences can give children extra worries and concerns. The team will buy worry bears, comfort books and other resources that help children and carers explore sensitive issues from domestic violence to sexual exploitation. The award will also buy devices and other visual aids for those working with the children to explain how to stay healthy.

Research Steering Group


Evidence shows that people from Black, Asian Ethnic Minority backgrounds are not getting access to early treatment for mental health issues. They are much more likely to end up in crisis and be detained under the Mental Health Act. A research project by senior managers and research colleagues will research the experiences of BAME patients to explore the differences that exist by involving and enabling BAME service users to share their experiences.

Chinese Social Inclusion Project


The Chinese community in Liverpool asked for support to become more physically active. They struggle with long working hours and language barriers, so conventional health messages don’t reach them. Link worker Yan XIAO’s physical health project will enable her to talk to people about their conditions and encourage them to take first steps. She plans to develop a dedicated activity programme, beginning with badminton, and will recruit volunteers to encourage people to get involved and eventually run the sessions themselves.

Paediatric speech and language therapy


Communication is crucial for children to express their wishes and needs. Difficulty in communicating can restrict interaction with anyone outside their immediate carers This award will provide Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC), which allows a child to give children a ‘voice’ in discussions with parents and carers, in schools and with speech and language therapists.

Suicide Awarensss Training Film


A short film will help raise awareness of the need to know how talk to someone you think may be contemplating suicide. Local scriptwriter Joe Lewis is working with the he Lions Barber Collective, a charity that trains barbers to recognise and respond to signs of depression in their male clients. The film, set in a barber’s shop has been welcomed by the Zero Suicide Alliance, Life Rooms and Trust's Armed Forces Oversight Group (as one of the main characters is a military veteran) as part of their own workshops to raise awareness of men's mental health and suicide prevention.

Later Life and Memory Service


Recognising day and night can be a challenge for people with dementia. They can become agitated at being prompted to return to bed when they believe it is daytime and are at risk of falls when getting out of bed to ask the time. Dementia friendly clocks are to be installed in every bedroom across Rydal Ward and Kingsley wards. Patients will be able to see the clocks so will feel more independent. Sleeping at night will reduce the need to doze during the day.

Longmoor House, Aintree


People spend time at Longmoor House following ill health or difficult times in their lives. Two sensory gardens will be created in existing outdoor areas. A patients’ garden will offer a safe space to reflect and recover, while staff will have a dedicated garden where they can refresh and reenergise. The team will work with Liverpool Universities Foundation Trust to develop the spaces.