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Improvements are being made to the part of the Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS) system that GP practices use to submit their monthly Friends and Family Test data.
Practices had fed back over the past few months that they wanted to be able to go back into the system before the submission deadline to amend any incorrect data entries, which is not currently possible. Some practices had also accidentally filled in data in the fields for 2016 months rather than 2015, locking in the information, and were requesting these fields be cleared.
NHS England has listened to these requests and worked with HSCIC, who own the system, to facilitate improvements. After the deadline for October data submissions, which is on 17 November, the system will be disabled for several days.
When the new and improved service becomes available on 23 November, the 2016 fields will be clear and practices will also then be able to amend their submissions each month up to the deadline date. They will also be able to view their historical data in the previous collection.
The changes require practices to “accept” the service again by acting on a “new task” notification that will appear in the CQRS Message Centre, as they did in month one. This is a quick and easy one-off procedure and they will need to do it after 23 November but before attempting to submit their November data, which they can do between 1 and 16 December.
- Practices need to act after 23 November and before submitting their November data in the first half of December.
- They need to look for a “new task” about FFT in the CQRS Message Centre.
- They need to respond by accepting the service again to activate the new system
NHS England is making a submission checker tool available on the NHS England website, for anyone wishing to look at their successfully submitted data. This is published each month alongside the data.
The FFT data submission guidance has been updated to reflect the new processes
The Friends and Family Test in general practice was introduced in December last year. Latest data published shows that almost 1.5 million patients across England have given their views on their experience of GP services and almost 9 out of 10 have rated it positively, giving a huge pat on the back to hard working GPs and their teams. Patients have also fed back on how things can be improved and practices are reporting changes to things like their appointment booking arrangements and surgery opening times as a result.
Most practices are now meeting their contractual requirements by making the FFT available to their patients and submitting their monthly data. NHS England and other commissioners of primary care services are currently working to identify practices that might need further support to do so.