NHS Friends and Family Test

Would you recommend our services to your friends and family?

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 became available to many additional patients. It is now live in 8,000 GP practices across England and in all NHS-funded mental health and community health services.

On 1 April 2015, it was expanded to NHS dental practices, ambulance services, patient transport services, acute hospital outpatients and day cases too.

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 survey or a survey on an iPad. The survey will ask you to answer the following question:

‘How likely are you to recommend this service to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?’

You will be invited to respond to the question by choosing one of six options, ranging from ‘extremely likely’ to ‘extremely unlikely’.

It is important that you are given the opportunity to explain why you have given your answer, so please answer any follow-up questions.

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 or email kentchft.PALS@nhs.net

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

How will the results be used?

We will gather the results and analyse them quickly to see if any action is required. We will combine your feedback with that of other patients and create an overall satisfaction 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 Meridian 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.