High FFT response rates highlight themes to improve services


  • The Trust quickly realised that a 9% response rate in A&E using only paper was not sufficient to pick up on any themes around service
  • Aintree had no coherent way to collect data and effectively report on patient issues consistently raised to support improvements
  • Extra admin pressure was placed on staff and FFT buy in was low
  • Paper surveys could not reach all patient groups and patients who did not feel comfortable giving feedback in the providers environment, had no other option to do so

We have been delighted with the way Healthcare Communications has supported us through the FFT process and their proactive and friendly approach has been refreshing. We now look forward to implementing the automated Envoy theme solution so that we can further improve our service and provide better quality patient care. Karen Davies, Patient Experience Manager.


  • Introduce SMS and Interactive Voice Message (IVM) to increase response rates for evidence based decision making
  • Automate grouping of comments with similar themes without stretching resources
  • Ensure that the solution could be tailored to meet the needs of each individual department and clinic

Healthcare Communications were chosen based on the variety of communications options offered and software designed specifically to improve NHS patient feedback collection. Envoy software was then implemented to capture responses, analyse and then report on results in real time.

By introducing SMS and IVM in A&E, response rates jumped by 43% in 1 month! Aintree continue to achieve high levels of feedback and the successful strategy has since been rolled out to Outpatients, Day case and Inpatients.


  • Rapid information sharing with weekly auto reporting specific to department and ward alleviating admin burden.
  • A significant boost to staff morale. Feedback can be filtered to clinic and ward level, highlighting staff efforts on the dashboard. Envoy word clouds grouping positive responses are displayed in wards; staff feel appreciated and great practice is reinforced
  • Consistently high response rates across every department, including 25% in A&E!
  • Aintree set key words and themes to improvement hot spots and real time relating feedback is automatically collated. This enables the trust to prioritise improvements and quickly react to potentially serious issues


Envoy’s dashboard clearly highlights reoccurring negative feedback leading to the following improvements:

  • The construction of a new A&E building prompted the Trust to display more information about what the new department will look like and how it will be advantageous to the patients. By the Trust analysing the FFT responses, this improvement in communication has turned a negative patient experience into a positive one
  • The triage area in A&E has now been moved away from the reception area and has been partitioned off so patient’s conversations can remain private


Healthcare Communications use the latest IVM technology which enables patients to leave a 2 minute voice message on their care experience. This is a key tool to express the importance of FFT to staff and senior management. The Trust board states: ‘We (the board) heard patient views through audio recordings and were impressed at how powerful it was to hear directly from patients in their own words. We encourage others to use this mechanism to learn from the experience of our patients.’