Friends and Family Test

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What is the Friends and Family Test?

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. In its first year, more than 2 million individual responses were given. The FFT is now being rolled out to an extra seven areas of NHS care making the opportunity to leave feedback possible in almost all NHS services.

From 1 December 2014, the FFT will be available in GP practices, from January 2015 in mental health and community services and from 1 April 2015, it will be expanded to NHS dental practices, ambulance services, patient transport services, acute hospitals 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.