The Friends and Family Test (FFT) is an important feedback tool that supports the fundamental principle that people who use NHS services should have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience.
It asks people if they would recommend the services they have used and offers a range of responses. When combined with supplementary follow-up questions, the FFT provides a mechanism to highlight both good and poor patient experience. This kind of feedback is vital in transforming NHS services and supporting patient choice.
Launched in April 2013, the FFT question has been asked in all NHS inpatient and A&E departments across England and, since October 2013, all providers of NHS funded maternity services. Since it began, the FFT has produced more than 4 million pieces of feedback.
The FFT is now being rolled out to additional areas of NHS care making the opportunity to leave feedback possible in almost all NHS services.
The FFT has just become available to many additional patients, going live in 8000 GP practices across England from 1 December and in all NHS-funded mental health and community health services from 1 January. From 1 April 2015, it will be expanded to NHS dental practices, ambulance services, patient transport services, acute hospital outpatients and day cases.
The feedback gathered through the FFT is being used in NHS organisations across the country to stimulate local improvement and empower staff to carry out the sorts of changes that make a real difference to patients and their care.
While the results will not be statistically comparable against other organisations because of the various data collection methods, FFT will continue to provide a broad measure of patient experience that can be used alongside other data to inform service improvement and patient choice.
The FFT is a way of gathering patient feedback so that the surgery can continually to review its service. It is based on one question:
“How likely are you to recommend our service to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?”
The feedback helps the surgery learn what the patients like and what they think could be improved. By filling in the survey patients help to make changes insuring the surgery offers the best possible care.
Each month the results will be published on the website.