On 29 September, delegates from 18 trusts across the country gathered at the Manchester Crown Plaza to discuss patient experience hot topics. This also provided the perfect opportunity to learn how peers tackle common challenges, as well as share successes.

What we learnt:

  • FFT staff engagement is still a struggle at many Trusts
  • The mental shift from response rate targets to recommends and non recommends is a challenge
  • Patients are still marking ‘5’ instead of ‘1’ which skews results, symbols next to ratings are required

Staff Engagement

Delegates from Calderdale and Huddersfield told how the Trust hold monthly user groups alternating focus between FFT and patient experience. This brings together general managers and matrons to discuss challenges, when areas previously operated in silos. At times, patients are invited to contribute too and as a result staff are more engaged with FFT.

Negative patient feedback

A real bonus to attending Trusts is the ability to text patients who left negative feedback whilst maintaining anonymity. This channel is less confronting for patients with the option to waive anonymity and respond with more insight around the issue.  In fact, East Cheshire Trust found that 90% of patients that leave negative feedback were happy for staff to make contact with them.


IVM Patient Voices

IVM Patient Voices was a big hit with all delegates offering this feedback channel. Those that weren’t, quickly realised the multiple benefits. Firstly, certain patient demographics prefer to talk about their experience and it was all about the ‘goose bump’ ‘stop in your tracks’ impact when audio feedback is played in staff training and board room meetings.

Jean Tucker, FFT Project Manager at Gloucestershire Trust epitomised the power of a real patient voice when presenting the different effect of the same feedback when read on paper or text compared to the real patient voice telling their own care experience story.

Matt Norris from Aintree trust added that is the key tool for senior board meetings. In fact, in the latest Aintree newsletter, the board actually stated:

‘This month we heard the views of patients through audio recordings and we were impressed at how powerful it was to hear directly from patients and in their own words. We encourage others to use this mechanism to learn from the experiences of our patients.’

FFT inclusive to all patient groups

Everyone contributed an array of ideas on how to promote inclusivity options to patients. East Cheshire Trust use posters to publicise services, whilst Bolton Trust employ translators covering 4 languages for patient cultural support.

All agreed that children cards with cute characters and bright colours were successful in increasing feedback from the younger demographic.

Attending delegates also felt that carer’s feedback was just as important and even suggested a separate survey dedicated to their experience.

There were some common challenges faced around inclusivity too. Namely, catering for all 80 requirements. There’s also an issue around recording disabilities in PAS and if a patient has more than one disability, this can’t be listed.

The next one?

Need some inspiration – stay tuned for the next User Group down south and email twebb@healthcomm.uk to be added to the invite list.