This month’s guest blog is written by Lynsey Russell, Senior Charge Nurse in Critical Care at Borders General Hospital.

She shares her experience of launching a Joy in Work initiative in the wake of the pandemic, and the surprising outcome.

In August 2020 I took over the Senior Charge Nurse role in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). With over 21 years experience working in Critical Care Nursing it’s safe to say my sincere passion and enthusiasm for this speciality has been seriously challenged in the past 12 months managing an escalated ICU at the height of a global pandemic.

Transition to the critical care environment for new and redeployed nurses is challenging due to the complex knowledge, skills and technical abilities that underpin safe and effective practice.

I believe that education, training and development are paramount across the NHS and I was determined to embed this into everyday practice.

The 15s30m provides a simple but effective way of facilitating this.

I saw the 15s30m missions on twitter and thought it was the perfect platform for not only reducing frustration and increasing joy in the workplace, but also providing education to help staff better deliver safe and effective patient care.

We discussed the 15s30m concept at a senior staff meeting and I introduced the idea to the wider team in a newsletter the next day, specifically asking about things that bothered them and things that they wanted further education on. The response was great and there were lots of ideas for missions – so much so we have a list of future missions waiting to implement!!

A large whiteboard was placed in the centre of our unit at the nurses’ station and this has become our new 15s30m quality improvement board.

We decided as a team to make monthly missions – this would hopefully be enough time for all members of staff to see it several times throughout that month and fully take the information onboard. This has been particularly helpful in educating new nurses and redeployed staff during the pandemic. We have also created a folder in the ICU shared drive for all our missions so they are always accessible to the team.

Our recent board on the patient transfer trolley has been shared with Theatres and the Emergency Department as these areas also use the trolley frequently.  This ensures all departments are following the same procedures, documentation and safety checks.

This has had a positive impact on staff morale and has motivated staff to bring forward and share their ideas.

It has turned into a multidisciplinary team effort and has demonstrated to staff that small changes can have a huge impact on the working environment and patient safety. Our lead ICU physiotherapist is creating our next mission board on a new physical assessment tool for critical care. Displaying it on the 15s30m board is the ideal way to disseminate this innovation to all staff.

15s30m is such an easy and effective framework to implement, one which everyone can engage with and it really has made a huge difference to our team at a time when we needed it the most.

Safe to say it is now an integral part of our units’ quality improvement framework and I am delighted I came across it one day on twitter!



Want to know more about our social movement to reduce frustration and increase joy in work?  Quality Improvement for those who think Quality Improvement isn’t for them. Contact us!


Rachel Pilling and Dan Wadsworth are the winners of the 2017 NHS Improvement Sir Peter Carr Award.

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