NHS Friends and Family Test

How was your overall experience of our service?

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.

Launched in April 2013, the FFT question was gradually rolled out to all areas of NHS care giving patients the opportunity to leave feedback in all NHS services.  The FFT asked people if they would recommend the service they used and offered a range of responses from ‘extremely likely’ to ‘extremely unlikely’.  In April 2020, NHS England updated guidance with changes to the FFT question, to ask people to rate their overall experience of the service they received.  When the results are combined with a supplementary follow-up question, 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.

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.

Publishing results of the Friends and Family Test

The results of the FFT are published at monthly intervals on both NHS England and NHS Choices websites.

How does it work?

When you use one of our services you should be given the opportunity to complete a paper version survey, or electronically on a tablet where available and all our surveys are also available on our have your say, your feedback page. The survey will ask you to answer the following question:

Overall, how was your experience of our service?

You will be invited to respond to the question by choosing one of six options, ranging from ‘very good’ to ‘very poor’.  It is important that you are given the opportunity to explain why you have given your answer, so please answer the follow-up question ‘Please can you tell us why you gave your answer?’

Do you have to respond to the question?

Your answer is voluntary. But if you do answer, your feedback will provide valuable information for us to help make sure our patients have the best possible experience of care.

The surveys are anonymous and so you can be confident that your answer will not be traced back to you. A member of your family or a friend is welcome to answer the question if you are unable to.

If you feel that you should have been given the chance to answer the question, but were not given the opportunity to do so, please contact the trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at Unit J, Shearway Road, Folkestone, Kent CT19 4RG, phone 0300 123 1807, text 07899 903499 or email kentchft.PALS@nhs.net

Lines are open from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

How are the results used?

We gather the results and analyse them quickly to see if any action is required. We combine your feedback with that of other patients and create an overall FFT score which is published on the service pages of our website.

Does this replace the NHS complaints procedure or other forms of feedback?

No, this will not replace the current NHS complaints procedure or other forms of feedback. We have a range of other ways you can feedback.

How much is this costing the NHS?

At Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust we have an excellent system called IQVIA Connection to help us gather and report on patient feedback and a small, dedicated team to support our services to do this. The only additional cost has been printing some posters and leaflets, paid for from an existing budget for printing costs.