15 steps challenge

The 15 steps challenge was developed by the Institute for Innovation and Improvement in 2012 following a quote from a parent who said "I know what kind of care my daughter is going to get within 15 steps of walking onto a ward". The challenge focuses on seeing care through the eyes of patients and exploring first impressions and explores the quality of care under four categories:

  • Welcoming
  • Safe
  • Caring and Involving
  • Well organised and calm

A 15 steps challenge team consisting of forum members (Trust staff and volunteers) visited Trust Inpatient Units between July and September 2018, using national guidance developed by NHS England. Overall, observations and patient feedback was positive and areas of improvement identified were promptly followed up by ward managers for their action and staff learning. Feedback from each visit was shared Trust wide with staff via Noticeboard to raise awareness, highlighting good practice and learning.

Some examples of patient and carer feedback and observations during the 15 steps visits:

Positive feedback
A carer commented: ‘very happy with care on the ward, feels that patient will be safe, fed and monitored’.
A patient commented: ‘The staff here are fantastic, when you buzz they respond straight away, the physio has been helping me regain my independence, I can now self-propel my wheelchair, a fantastic achievement for me’.

As a consequence of a patient in isolation reporting that no clock was available in the room, the ward manager immediately arranged for a clock to be placed in the room.

The 15 steps team observed a good level of information available for patients and visitors on the inpatient units; highlighting staffing levels, no of complaints, and patient feedback (‘You said, we did’, Friends and Family Test recommendation rates).