7th June 2018



This guest blog is from Rachel Pilling and Dan Wadsworth – founders of a fantastic social movement in healthcare called 15seconds 30 minutes (@15s30m).

So firstly Dan and I are really excited to be writing a blog for Learning for Excellence.  We’ve admired from afar and can see the huge impact this sort of social movement can have on staff and patients alike.

It connects with our social movement really neatly – we are all about Joy in Work – the third leg of Quality Improvement, alongside Patient Safety and Cost Effectiveness.  The role of Joy in Work in underpinning staff engagement, performance, sickness and workforce retention has been championed by the IHI, and the newly published NHS Improvement Health and WellBeing (http://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/retain-and-improve/staff-experience/health-work-and-wellbeing/health-and-wellbeing-framework) brings it under the spotlight for the NHS.



But lets go back a few steps…what is our social movement?

It’s an idea called 15 seconds, 30 minutes or 15s30m for short.  It asks any member of staff to think of a small 15 second task they can undertake which will save someone else 30 minutes later on, and in doing so reduce frustration and increase joy for themselves, colleagues and patients.  We call these tasks 15s30m Missions and anyone, from chief executive to porter, can get involved.

Here’s an example:  a few weeks ago, we had a power cut at 815am, just as the eye clinic reception was about to open.  The shutters were stuck down and only one PC was working.

Our brilliant receptionist Carol decided that she would stand at the front door and spend 15 seconds greeting patients as they arrived, taking down their name and date of birth on a note pad, and passing it round to the receptionist behind the shutter to start booking patients in – this not only meant that the nursing staff could begin to check visions and put in drops, but when the power came back on we knew who was in the department and there wasn’t a big queue of patients waiting to check in…..but more than that, patients weren’t left “in the dark” (literally!), unsure if clinic was open, worrying that someone might not know they are there. The impact of her 15 seconds was felt across the clinic – what could have been a frustrating day for everyone, was instead a really smooth run session.  Carol is one of our 15s30m Heroes – she sees when something needs doing to make the experience better for the patient, doesn’t wait for permission,  and other people follow her example.


We know that the people who know how a department, ward or office is best run is the people on the front line.  By standing on a hospital corridor asking staff, we have collected a list of ideas – 100 ideas in 100 days in fact – and we think some of them will work for any organisation.  We’ve made some little videos on YouTube – go and have a look.  We also invited staff to come to our workshops, where we help them reconnect with the Joy of work, why they enjoy being in healthcare, how they know when they’ve made a difference, what makes a “good day”.  We help them express an idea they have to improve the way work is done – a mission – and empower them to launch it!

What started as a silly conversation about a WashBasket (you’ll have to check out the website, launching July 2018 www.15s30m.co.uk) has grown out from our trust, into our CCG, community nursing homes and other trusts. But this isn’t “our” social movement – its yours. This isn’t a “Bradford” idea, it’s a global one.  We know every hospital has heroes like Carol – people who can make those small changes which have a big impact on someone else – the NHS is built on them.  So we want to help make it easier for people to make the changes, to have the confidence to tell someone how we can make it better. 

There’s lots of ways you can get involved.We’d love you to follow us on Twitter – @15s30m – there’s lots of ideas we post. We are running a 15s30m Festival on 3 October in Bradford – a longer version of the workshop sessions, with a “headline set” from Helen Bevan – and some tools and hints you can take away to start your own @15s30m movement in your local organisation.

Or just drop us an email to 15s.30m@bthft.nhs.uk – we’d love to chat about your idea, help you get going – or just tell us what you’ve done so we can start planting 15s30m Heroes in trusts up and down the country.

Rachel Pilling  is a consultant Ophthalmologist and Dan Wadsworth is a Transformation Manager for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.  Their social movement 15seconds 30minutes was the winner of the NHS Improvement  Sir Peter Carr Award in 2017, recognising a clinician-manager partnership and offering personal development opportunities for them to improve their leadership and managerial skills.

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