Idea Description
Supplementary Information
Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
The Wonder Why Society is a fully moderated, collaborative online learning community for school children. It supports the mental health prevention agenda through access to information, signposting services and encouraging engagement.

Overview of Innovation:
The Wonder Why Society provides a safe online space allowing children, teachers and industry experts to learn together. By setting challenges and introducing new topics, the society connects children, schools and experts from all over the UK. It takes down the walls of the classroom to brings a whole new dimension to learning.

All the content is moderated by a team of educational experts, ensuring that the space is entirely safe for users. As a digital innovation, this offers the opportunity to support to schools to scale their ‘prevention agenda for mental ill health’ enabling earlier intervention(s) at relatively low cost.

The child-centred communities enable professionals to host preventative information, deliver solutions, gather opinion and hold conversations in a safe, moderated environment. This integrated, approach provides a one-stop community where any issue which may impact upon a child's mental health can be discussed and advised upon such as housing and finances.

The communities give children help and information and signpost to services. Importantly they also give children of all ages a voice and empowerment in an environment that informs, inspires and encourages aspiration to drive confidence and resilience in future generations.

It can significantly widen the reach of NHS services impacting on cost-effectiveness. Our learning communities The Wonder Why Society (5-11) and Bridgr (11-18) allow the multiple stakeholders involved in the health and education of a child to work together in a variety of ways. The communities which operate separately in the primary and secondary sector offer opportunities to educate and inform users and provide long term preventative solutions.

They also provide healthcare professionals a permanent place to offer support and advice to teachers and support staff who often don’t know where best to turn.

As STEMs learning platforms (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) The Wonder Why Society and Bridgr can also help to tackle the upcoming skills gap in the health sector.

Taking a long-term approach, the NHS can attract the talent they will require to address the future clinical skills gap by developing a careers platform, engaging with children from when they start school to when they leave.

Developing a NHS skills pathway can create real social change and empower an effective future workforce.
Stage of Development:
Market ready and adopted - Fully proven, commercially deployable, market ready and already adopted in some areas (in a different region or sector)
Similar Content4
Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
Early identification lies at the heart of the Mental Illness Prevention strategy. PredictX’s proven machine learning model for identification of not school ready children forms the basis for wider application.
Overview of Innovation:
The “Get It Right, First Time” program is an ambitious effort to transform the mental health treatment to focus more on early diagnosis and intervention. The benefits of early intervention are clear and well documented. PredictX (PX) believe that we can the application of Machine Learning (ML) based systems improves the identification of at-risk individuals, especially children.

At Essex CC, we developed and deployed a working ML system to identify children and households where the children had a higher probability of not being school ready. As the report states, “ the most productive and cost-effective element of any prevention of mental ill-health strategy will be during a child’s early years.”  The PX school readiness model has proven to be effective in the early identification of not school ready children - beyond previous methods. The system not only identifies at-risk children for early intervention but also indicates the most impactful intervention for a locality.

The PX model not only applies to school readiness but is a flexible framework that adapts to new use cases and available data to solve other similar challenging issues. The model uses data from housing, education, social care, police, health, benefits, and population can use this data for applications beyond school readiness. For instance, early work suggests that the model will be effective predicting domestic abuse - another causal precursor of childhood mental health issues. Because such a wide range of data is accessed, the model is resilient to sparse or missing data from any particular data source.

We believe that the school readiness model is one branch among several that leads to a much more holistic and accurate identification of individuals, families, and locations at risk of mental health issues. Moreover, the model can be tuned to further identify those who would be positively impacted by intervention thus aiding the most effective resource allocation of the intervention team.

The model has the further advantage of having real-world analogues and explainability.  This means that the model will aid the experts by identifying the key causal factors most prevalent in a particular locality, thereby systematically aiding the work with Schools and Education to identify the most critical vulnerabilities and risk markers for mental illness and aiding building the most impactful preventative resilience and wellbeing practices.

Please see:
Stage of Development:
Close to market - Prototype near completion and final form may require additional validation/evaluation and all CE marking and regulatory requirements are in place
WMAHSN priorities and themes addressed: 
Mental Health: recovery, crisis and prevention / Advanced diagnostics, genomics and precision medicine / Wellness and prevention of illness / Digital health / Innovation and adoption / Person centred care
Benefit to NHS:
The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (2016) states that “the future health of millions of children, the sustainability of the NHS, and the economic prosperity of Britain all now depend on a radical upgrade in prevention and public health.” Further it warns that the circumstances since the Wanless review published 12 years ago has become worse. “Mental health problems account for a quarter of all ill health in the UK. Despite important new developments in mental health research it receives less than 5.5 per cent of all health research funding. Latest figures suggest that £115 million is spent on mental health research each year compared with £970 million on physical health research.”  The paper also clearly articulates the importance of Innovation to tackle current and future challenges. In particular , “We see a pivotal role for digital technology in driving major changes to mental health services over the next five years”. Better prevention tools based on AI and Machine Learning is inline with this thinking.

Twelve years ago Derek Wanless’ health review warned that unless the country took prevention seriously we would be faced with a sharply rising burden of avoidable illness. That warning has not been heeded -and the NHS is on the hook for the consequences.”

One of the few silver linings to commencing this work today rather than a decade ago is that the AI technologies to deliver advanced risk identification capability is fully proven now whereas twelve years ago, the technology was nascent if it existed at all.  Therefore the ability to execute the goal of the “Get it Right, First Time” agenda is now feasible with excellent ROI.
Initial Review Rating
4.40 (2 ratings)
Benefit to WM population:
According to Mental Health In The West Midlands Combined Authority, a report commissioned by the  West Midlands Mental Health Commission,  Nearly a quarter of adults living in the WMCA are experiencing a mental health problem at any one time. The report also documents that the cost of mental health problems in the WMCA is estimated at around £12.6 billion in 2014–15, equivalent to a cost of about £3,100 per head of population.

Clearly these challenges and the significant benefits for addressing these challenges are key drivers behind the initiatives already in place in the region.

Identification of at risk individuals, especially children must go hand in hand with the infrastructure to intervene for maximum impact. The work by the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) supported by Forward Thinking Birmingham to construct the Proof of Concept program that incorporates partners across health and social care, education and policing, as well as community resources suggests that the program will have the resources and focus to execute the intervention strategies.

The effectiveness of the ML model depends on the access to data. Part of the success of the Essex School Readiness project is the buy-in of the different service areas to share their data to achieve the overall aims of enabling a prevention-based service culture.  West Midlands is ahead with forward thinking localities already sharing data across social care and health. This is a promising position from which extension of data sharing to include education, environment and other key information can develop.

From a PredictX perspective, there is already good working relationships with many of the local authorities in the region including integrated social care data - one of the key elements of the ML model.

This work has been performed in collaboration with the Midlands and Lancashire CSU. The close and strategic working relationship established over many years between PredictX and the Midlands and Lancashire CSU will help to ensure that projects are executed per agreed scope and delivered on time and on budget.
Current and planned activity: 
PredictX works with the NHS at several levels currently. We work directly with Provider Trusts such as UCLH supplying them with advanced analytic solutions. We also work with CCGs and STPs focusing on advanced analytics that need to integrate social care and health information. We also work with Local Authorities and regions such as the School Readiness system with Essex CC.

We also have a strategic partnership with the West Midlands CSU working to serve their CCG members as well as investing in research and development efforts to apply Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques to address challenges the sector faces. This partnership has recently been codified with the launch of the Midlands and Lancashire Innovation Partnership - a partnership of the CSU, private sector and academia working together to deliver advanced, AI-enabled solutions.
What is the intellectual property status of your innovation?:
IPR is 100% the property of PredictX with no conflicts. We are happy to co-create new IPR with the sector and share the innovation
Return on Investment (£ Value): 
Very high
Return on Investment (Timescale): 
1 year
Ease of scalability: 
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Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
Children are at risk of serious harm or even death because adults are mixing alcohol consumption with caring and parental responsibilitie. This campaign poses the question - "when parents drink, who's in charge?'
Overview of Innovation:
Parents from all backgrounds are putting their children at risk when they drink alcohol at home.

The 'Who's In Charge?' campaign from Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust depicts real life child harm scenarios and asks – ‘when you drink, who’s in charge?’

The campaign was conceived in response to concerns that growing numbers of babies and children are at risk of serious harm because of the way their parents consume alcohol at home.

Safeguarding professionals warn that children are being placed in danger and even losing their lives because adults who in many cases do not consider themselves excessive drinkers are not exercising normal levels of care and attention while drinking or recovering from the after-effects of over-indulgence in alcohol.

And they warn of a ‘double jeopardy’ effect - that drinking too much alcohol can not only reduce a parent’s capacity to appropriately respond to children’s needs, but also make the drunken adult an active danger to the child.

One of the most worrying trends identified locally and nationally is a rise in the number of baby deaths connected with sleeping on a sofa with an adult who is under the influence of alcohol, the number of children left to care for their younger siblings and the impact of the example of parents’ drinking patterns on young people.

The number of victims of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome who were sleeping with a parent on a sofa has risen.

The campaign urges parents, and others with responsibility for children, to be aware of a range of potentially dangerous consequences if no adult remains sufficiently sober and aware of children’s needs or whereabouts.

In one year in Birmingham alone: 
  • 82% of babies who died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome were sleeping with a parent at the time
  • 56% of these deaths were on a sofa; 44% in the parental bed.
  • 78% of the fatalities were associated with parental alcohol use at the time
  • while 44% involved parental drug use.
Stage of Development:
Market ready and adopted - Fully proven, commercially deployable, market ready and already adopted in some areas (in a different region or sector)
WMAHSN priorities and themes addressed: 
Mental Health: recovery, crisis and prevention / Wellness and prevention of illness / Education, training and future workforce / Person centred care
Benefit to NHS:
  • supportive of statutory safeguarding responsibilities through reduced risk of harm to children and young people
  • supportive of adult clinical services due to reduced risk of harm to adults through excessive alcohol consumption.
  • community cohesion
  • marketing and education resources for professionals eg. health visitors, school nurses.
Initial Review Rating
3.60 (2 ratings)
Benefit to WM population:
  • reduced risk of harm to children and young
  • reduced risk of harm to adults through excessive alcohol consumption.
  • community cohesion
Current and planned activity: 
A set of photographs has been commissioned depicting hard-hitting photographic case study scenarios based on real life evidence from serious case reviews and other reported incidents.

AVAILABLE TO OTHER TRUSTS FREE OF CHARGE - If you wish to use these in your organisation, please contact David Disley-Jones or MidTECH Innovations (

A simple logo was designed and has been trade-mark protected with the IPO.
A set of posters has been produced which have been displayed in a variety of locations.
A set of aide memoire cards has been produced for use by professionals such as health visitors and school nurses to generate discussion and raise awareness.
Who's In Charge? has been licensed to British Armed Forces in Germany for use on military bases, in acknowledgement of the issue of alcoholic consumption among military families.

What is the intellectual property status of your innovation?:
The logo and the use of the phrase 'Who's in Charge?' (in certain contexts) has been trade-marked with the IPO.
The photographs are copyright BCHC/Roy Peters Photography.
Return on Investment (£ Value): 
Return on Investment (Timescale): 
3 years +
Ease of scalability: 
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Overview summary:
The Solihull Approach, an NHS based team of health professionals, have developed an exciting online course for parents, carers and professionals. ‘Understanding Your Child’ includes 12 modules (20 minutes each) and follows 5 other families. The focus of the course is  how our emotions affect our relationships and behaviour. It looks at brain development, play, styles of parenting, sleep, temper tantrums, communication and more and is based on the nationally and internationally acclaimed face to face course.
Challenge identified and actions taken :
Unlike antenatal support, there is a stigma around accessing parenting support.
We know a great deal about preventing mental health problems in future generations. We know that the brain develops in response to its environment and is especially sensitive to the quality of relationships with caregivers, particularly in the first three years of life.
There is “floor to ceiling” evidence that intervening early and preventatively pays both economically, emotionally, and cognitively and achieves life long impact.
A trial of universal parenting support was undertaken by the coalition government (CanParent trial 2012-15). The Solihull Approach was a provider in the trial. The range of courses on offer were very popular with those who took them but the trial reached only a fraction of the intended audience, less than 3000 out of an intended 20,000. A CanParent survey revealed that most 98% of parents would be interested in a course, but the difficulty is accessing one.
The Solihull Approach developed the online coures in response to this finding.
The Solihull Approach face to face course and online course were  the first in the country to be awarded the DfE’s Quality Mark.
The Solihull Approach is offering multi-user licences to corporates, schools, NHS trusts, local authorities, public health, and prisons.
Impacts / outcomes: 
Data analysed so far: 121 parents highly significant reductions in conflict and increases in closeness in the relationships between the parents and their children on the two subscales and overall score on the Child Parent Relationship Scale (Pianta, 1992).
Published research demonstrating effectiveness of face to face course:
  • Johnson, R., Wilson, H. (2012) Parents’ evaluation of Understanding Your Child’s Behaviour, a parenting group based on the Solihull Approach. Community Practitioner, 85: 5, 29-33.
  • Vella, L., Butterworth, R.,  Johnson, R.  and Urquhart Law, G. (2015) Parents' experiences of being in the Solihull Approach parenting group, ‘Understanding Your Child's Behaviour’: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Child: Care, Health and Development 41:6, 882–894.
  • Baladi, R., Johnson, R., and Urquhart Law, G. (in progress) A pre, post and follow-up evaluation of Understanding Your Child’s Behaviour (UYCB): A parenting group intervention based on the Solihull Approach. Child: Care, Health and Development.
Which local or national clinical or policy priorities does this innovation address:
National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guidelines for conduct disorder: ‘Antisocial behaviour and conduct disorders in children and young people: recognition and management’ NICE guidelines [CG158] Published date: March 2013
Supporting quote for the innovation from key stakeholders:
“The most amazing and immediately life changing course I have ever been on! And that’s after 5 years in childcare!” (Parent)
“Really enjoyed doing it and found it useful. Yes it made a difference. Was going to make a referral to the MAT team. Children's behaviour problematic at home, being managed at school, but a problem. Saw an improvement after the parent took the course. We could see a difference in school. Children much, much better. The mum was being more positive, a bit more confident, she seemed able to see things from their point of view, and had  changed the way she spoke to the children.” (Pastoral Lead at a Primary School)
Plans for the future:
To engage with corporate partners, health, education and social care. Develop implementation kits  to assist organisations to launch the course to employees and customers. Reach the whole population thereby elevating the emotional wellbeing of future generations.  
Tips for adoption:
Multi-user licences are available. Implementation kits are in development.
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Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
We develop board games that engage and educate frontline staff. 
They improve care delivery and patient safety by giving staff the knowledge, skills and confidence to make beneficial changes.
Overview of Innovation:
Since 2004 we have been developing board games that improve learning and development by making face-to-face engagement easier and more effective. They bring staff together and encourage them to discuss new ways of working. They get people talking and sharing; players learn from each other.
Our games improve performance by delivering the knowledge, skills and confidence that staff need to change the way they work, communicate and behave. Games encourage players to relax and have fun making them more receptive to new ideas and more willing to discuss difficult subjects. While the games are delivering structured and engaging learning it doesn't feel like formal learning. This is very important for unqualified support staff (bands 1-4) who may have fear of formal classroom learning for a variety of reasons.

Our games are designed to be extremely flexible and can be played in the workplace without a specialist facilitator or as part of a more structured formal training programme or workshop. This is intentional and is designed to bridge the gap between solitary learning such as eLearning (which may not be engaging or effective) and formal instructor lead training (which can be effective but expensive and scarce).

We have developed over 40 games and most of them are specifically for use in health and social care settings to address specific clinical and organisational issues. Many of the games are designed to reduce avoidable harm and improve patient safety by encouraging continuous improvement among frontline staff. Games cover a range of issues including:
  • Medication errors
  • Sepsis management
  • Pressure ulcer prevention
  • Malnutrition & dehydration
  • Dysphagia management
  • Stroke pathway
  • Communication skills
  • Team working in health and social care
  • Information governance
  • Genomics
  • Cystic Fibrosis (for children with CF)
All of our games are developed in partnership with leading academics, clinical practitioners, educators and frontline staff. We have formal agreements and partnerships with a range of national and local NHS organisations including NHS England, Health Education England, NHS Improvement, NHS Scotland, and NHS Education for Scotland.

We have formal partnerships with a range of organisations in the Midlands including City University Birmingham, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS FT, Health Education West Midlands, Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.

Our biggest challenge is publicising our games. This is why we would like funding from the SME Innovation Fund.

Stage of Development:
Market ready and adopted - Fully proven, commercially deployable, market ready and already adopted in some areas (in a different region or sector)
WMAHSN priorities and themes addressed: 
Mental Health: recovery, crisis and prevention / Long term conditions: a whole system, person-centred approach / Advanced diagnostics, genomics and precision medicine / Wellness and prevention of illness / Education, training and future workforce / Innovation and adoption / Patient and medicines safety / Person centred care
Benefit to NHS:
Patient safety and avoidable harm are huge problems for the health and social care systems and for wider society. Many of the changes needed to improve safety are relatively simple and can be carried out by frontline staff without the need for new equipment or complex system or process changes. But these changes cannot happen without effective training and support. Without them frontline staff cannot improve their performance. While evidence based medicine is practiced it is not supported by evidence based training and we believe that within health and social care training is either absent or has no evidence to support its efficacy.

The widespread adoption of eLearning and other remote learning resources are appealing to the organisation because they appear cost effective but can be isolating and unpopular with frontline staff. It's easy to conclude that if these methods of delivering training were effective then the incidence of avoidable harm and patient safety incidents would have decreased or disappeared. They have not.

We believe that the most effective way of engaging and training frontline staff is face-to-face in groups where staff members learn from each other. If this happens it often involves a slide show or lecture and neither of these engage the learners in any discussion nor challenges them to process new information and ideas.

We develop board games to achieve these levels of engagement. A simple board game based on recognisable games such as Snakes & Ladders are very simple to play, widely recognised and have cross cultural and generational appeal. Our games don't require any structured facilitation and can be played by anyone anywhere. Within minutes players are laughing and joking while focussing intently on discussing the questions and scenarios presented within the game.

Independent university and NHS studies strongly suggest that our games are very effective for knowledge transfer, knowledge retention and developing the confidence players need to implement what they've learned during the game. There are also clear indications, from within the NHS and care homes, that playing games can have a measurable effect on patient safety and avoidable harm but this needs more investigation to confirm. 

Any reductions in avoidable harm and improvements in patient safety will have a significant benefit on finances across the system and of course the benefit to patients and carers is clear. Staff morale can also be improved.
Initial Review Rating
4.60 (1 ratings)
Benefit to WM population:
As described earlier in this submission we have contractual and commercial relationships with several organisations in the West Midlands. The sale of our games generates revenue for these organisations that can be reinvested by them to improve the services that they deliver to the residents of the WM. We anticipate more of these commercial relationships as our company grows so our games would be creating wealth within the WM economy.

The direct benefits to patients and carers of less avoidable harm and improved patient safety is clear and the financial implications for the WM economy could also be significant.

The reputational benefits for service providers should not be ignored and the improvements in staff morale could also be a beneficial side-effect.
Current and planned activity: 
We have formal agreements and partnerships with a range of national and local NHS organisations including NHS England, Health Education England, NHS Improvement, NHS Scotland, and NHS Education for Scotland.

We have formal partnerships with a range of organisations in the West Midlands including City University Birmingham, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS FT, Health Education West Midlands, Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.

We also have relationships with a range of Royal Colleges, charities and patient groups including Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Midwives, The Patients Association, UK Sepsis Trust, Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland and the British Dietetic Association.

We cannot develop our games without the support of subject matter experts from these organisations and we will continue to strengthen these relations and create new ones.
What is the intellectual property status of your innovation?:
In most instances we entirely own the IP related to our games. In some instances the IP is owned, or partly owned, by our partners and we sell the games under licence from them. We recently had an IP Audit carried out on all of our games and associated commercial agreements and partnerships. When this report is finalised we would be willing to share it with the SME Innovation Fund.
Return on Investment (£ Value): 
Return on Investment (Timescale): 
1 year
Ease of scalability: 
Regional Scalability:
In terms of scalability many thousands of existing games are already being used in hospitals, universities and care homes across the UK and overseas. The WM is well-represented in terms of games already in use. Funding from the SME Innovation Fund would be used to broaden the scope of existing activities and ensure that more games are sold and used in the WM and elsewhere.
Because this submission is related to the promotion of a range of products success will be measured in numbers of additional games sold. However, individual games are assessed for their efficacy in knowledge transfer, knowledge retention and confidence levels of players to make changes to care delivery and behaviours. Independent studies carried out by universities and NHS employees all conclude that the games are effective. We assume that more games being used by frontline staff will translate into improved care delivery.
Adoption target:
The company is currently viable. The loan would help generate extra sales and this revenue will be used to further grow the business. Existing games cover almost the entire health and social care sector and so potential buyers and users in the WM could be any NHS trust, university, care home or other service-provider.
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