The Friends and Family Test (FFT) has reached a successful milestone of 5 million pieces of feedback received since April 2013! Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information refers to the survey as the ‘game changer’ in respect to the ‘You said, we did’ genuine improvements made from real time patient feedback. Health Minister Earl Howe also highlights that transparency in responses received provides patients the power to choose their place of care ‘driving hospitals to raise their game.’

NHS England report that feedback is overwhelmingly positive and the by-product is the motivational impact on staff. Not only is best practice reinforced, but staff efforts are highlighted and appreciated, boosting morale in times of high pressure.

On behalf of the 55 Trusts we work with to deliver FFT, Healthcare Communications has collected 1.2 million pieces of feedback using a combination of channels including SMS, Agent calls, Integrated Voice Messaging and paper!

By delivering response rates of over 40% to our Trusts, feedback has been the catalyst of significant improvements in patient experience; examples include:

  • Salford Royal identified car parking issues and doubled spaces available to 1,000 by opening two new car parks
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals learnt patients were unhappy about their tea being cold by the time the trolley reached the last few beds.  So two members of staff now pour the hot drinks, halving the time it took originally.
  • Aintree University Hospital relocated the triage area in A&E away from reception and this has been partitioned off so patient’s conversations can remain private.
  • East Kent University Hospital implemented a waiting time board communicating when patients will approximately be seen which has significantly lowered patient frustrations and reduced patient queries to reception staff

The Friends and Family Test is now the largest patient opinion survey worldwide! Initially polarising attitudes in its ability to make a difference, it has since become the single most important measurement of NHS performance.