Dragons' Den event to return to KGH

A Dragons' Den event where staff compete to win a share of £100,000 to enhance patient care is returning to Kettering General Hospital next month.

The event, based on the popular BBC Two show, sees workers at the Rothwell Road hospital pitch ideas for improvements to a panel of 'Dragons' and an audience who decide whether to back the idea and how much to give them.

The top ideas are given a share of £100,000 put aside from the hospital's capital budget to enhance patient care and experience.

The last event in 2018 saw a patient buggy service idea pitched, which was launched in July 2019. It delivers less able patients from hospital car parks to buildings and has already made more than 4,000 journeys.

The launch of the Patient Buggy Service in July 2019 one of several schemes from the 2018 Dragons' Den.

This year's event takes place on February 6 and the hospital's chairman, Alan Burns, will be their representative on the panel of five 'Dragons'.

He said: “We know our staff have great ideas on how to enhance patient care and we are using the Dragons' Den event as a fun way of harnessing that power.

“Our last event, in 2018, went very well and led to some important improvements to patient care.

“A great example is our patient buggy service – which delivers less able patients from our car parks to the main hospital building – which we launched in July 2019 and which has now made more than 4,000 journeys.

Staff pitching to the Dragons at the last event in 2018.

“Other developments included expanding our thoracoscopy service for patients with lung problems with £24,000 of extra equipment and putting £15,000 of new specialist oxygen masks for patients on our wards.”

The other 'Dragons' on the panel confirmed are World Cup winning rugby player Ben Cohen, Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire David Laing, owner of a financial planning firm Caroline Anstee and owner of a business publication Ben Thomas.

Members of the public are being encouraged to come along to the free event – to be held at the hospital - and form part of the audience.

On the night they will become a sixth 'Dragon’ and be involved in choosing the winning schemes.

KGH director of finance, Nicci Briggs, said: “This year’s event is set to be another exciting one with some fantastic bids being put together by both individuals and teams.

“Seeing staff present their cases to the local Dragons for a share of the £100,000 of capital funding will be very exciting and great fun.

“It will be up to the Dragons - and also the audience - to decide whether to back the staff ideas and how much money to give them.

“At the end of the night we will have chosen the winners and staff will get some giant cheques and the go-ahead and support to put their great ideas into action.”

The show will take place in The [email protected] – the staff recreation hall – adjacent to Car Park B where parking will be £1 for the night. It is on from 6pm to 9pm on Thursday, February 6, with seating for up to 175 members of the public and staff.

Each individual or team will have up to five minutes to deliver their pitch – and then Dragons will get five minutes for questions. At the end of the event the Dragons will consult and the

audience votes will be counted.

If you want to attend go to www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for KGH Dragons' Den to confirm your free seat in the audience.