Guidance on the NHS National Friends and Family Test (FFT) for maternity services published

NHS England has published guidance on the NHS National Friends and Family Test (FFT) for maternity services.

Alongside this guidance please read the note of clarification about women who have experienced a bereavement (document now only available on our archived website here).

The guidance outlines the background and requirements for implementing, reporting and publishing the national FFT within NHS-funded maternity services from 1 October 2013.

Women will be asked for their views on their maternity services at three touch points:

  1. Antenatal care  – to be surveyed at the 36 week antenatal appointment
  2. Birth and care on the postnatal ward – to be surveyed at discharge from the ward/birth unit/following a home birth
  3. Postnatal community care  – to be surveyed at discharge from the care of the community midwifery team to the care of the health visitor/GP (usually at 10 days postnatal)

The guidance aims to support those who will be establishing and implementing the test and is relevant to NHS trusts, Foundation Trusts and independent sector organisations that provide NHS-funded maternity services.

The Friends and Family Test aims to instigate a culture of continuous improvement in the NHS by providing a simple, headline metric which, when combined with follow-up questions, can provide insight into good practice and lead to improvements in the quality of NHS care.  It will enable the views of patients and their families to be heard and provides a platform to shape and deliver better services.  The implementation of the FFT across all NHS services is an integral part of Putting Patients First, NHS England’s Business Plan for 2013/14 – 2015/16.

Read more information on the national Friends and Family Test and access further support materials, FAQs and case studies.


  1. Gerry Firkins says:

    The pdf is missing!

    • sedwards says:

      Hi Gerry
      It seems to be there now.
      It does take a bit of time to load I’m afraid, but please let me know if you’re having any further issues.