Introduction to 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. 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. See section on Implementing FFT Guidance for details.

The FFT has just become available to many additional patients, going live in 8000 GP practices across England. From January 2015 it will roll out to mental health and community health 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.

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.

The Friends and Family Test for staff

From 1 April 2014, all NHS trusts providing acute, community, ambulance and mental health services in England were required to implement the FFT for staff. Guidance to support organisations administering the Staff FFT is published on the Staff Friends and Family Test page.

Further information/supporting publications

Useful information for staff

Useful information for patients and the public

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