Dan and Rachel’s Improvement Year: early days for the 15 seconds 30 minutes improvement initiative

By 1st August 2017Uncategorised

15 seconds 30 minutes is a quality improvement (QI) initiative to increase joy in the workplace by reducing frustration and improving patient experience.

Imagine if every day was a ‘great’ day. By identifying actions which take us a few seconds but will save someone else half an hour, we can improve not only patient experience but our job satisfaction, knowing that somewhere else, someone is doing the same.

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks since we were presented with the Sir Peter Carr Award at an NHS Improvement event in London in July. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the other finalists face to face, and inspiring to hear of all the QI work going on up and down the country. It helped us understand some of the challenges we’ll face, and gave us a few more 15s30m ideas to add to our fledgling list.

What have we started?

This month we’ve been preoccupied with the dawning realisation of what we’ve embarked on: what started as a silly little story about a teenager’s messy bedroom has snowballed. We have a sense of trepidation about how the two of us are going to start the social movement (not our words) we proposed to the judging panel. How do we harness colleagues’ excitement and encouragement, and sign them up to join us? How do we explain our idea to a diverse audience? How do we identify heroes? How do we know if it’s worked? And how do we stop people thinking we are just hassling them about efficiency savings? (Huffily murmuring “It’s about JOY!” through gritted teeth doesn’t give the right impression, does it really…?)

Never ones to balk at a challenge, however, we faced it head on and two days later threw ourselves into one of the first personal development opportunities offered to the five final Sir Peter Carr Partnerships during the year: the Demystifying Improvement course run by Haelo. To say we were bowled over would be an understatement. We discovered how much we didn’t know about improvement, and it has given us food for thought about how to plan the rest of the personal development programme.

What followed was the mother of all ‘big pen, big paper’ sessions, with a project plan now spanning a whole dining-room table, including colour-coded workstreams: direct, indirect and balancing measures aplenty; intrinsic and extrinsic motivators identified (see, that improvement course wasn’t wasted) … And what a relief to get all the detail that was buzzing incoherently around our brains out onto paper.

The following week we found ourselves bounding up to the trust transformation team, our somewhat cumbersome driver diagram in hand, ready to start formulating how the next year will look and beginning to put our plans into action.


Can we pop a meeting request into your calendar …?

News of the award quickly spread locally, arousing interest from many quarters. One highlight was presenting 15s30m to the Care Quality Commission’s Chief Executive, Sir David Behan, when he visited our trust. Other local trusts have been in touch to register interest, so once we’ve piloted 15s30m locally we will have contacts to begin spreading our ideas. We’ve identified a couple of early heroes among our interpreter, outpatient admin and main reception enquiry desk staff, and can’t wait to test out our plans with them.


What’s next …

At the start of September we’ll be reunited with all the award finalists at a workshop hosted by NHS Improvement. This is a great opportunity to hear about each other’s QI ideas and have a taster of the improvement development work ahead of us all. We’ll also be meeting the Yorkshire QI Leadership Academy to explore collaborative opportunities, plus lots and lots of cups of tea while Dan and I share what we’ve read and learned each week.


So watch this space …

Rachel Pilling Consultant Ophthalmologist
Daniel Wadsworth Deputy Head of Access
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Have an idea you think we’d love? Email us at info@15s30m.co.uk

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