Spotlight on patient feedback driving NHS improvements

A campaign launched today aims to raise awareness of how patient feedback is helping drive continuous improvement in NHS services.

The Friends and Family Test (FFT) Spotlight Week will include a range of promotional activities across England over the next five days aimed at giving fresh impetus to FFT which has already gathered 17million pieces of feedback from patients.

The FFT is a quick and easy way for patients to give their views on their experience after care and treatment by their GP or dentist, in hospital or from a range of other NHS services.

This week’s campaign features a patient and insight conference in Leeds on Thursday and the announcement of winners in the FFT Awards, which will recognise outstanding work to listen to patients.

There will also be local events, advertising and a range of other activities such as information stands in public places.

As well as NHS England, many healthcare providers are getting involved, along with some local Healthwatch volunteers, hospital radio stations and patient groups to spread the word about how patients can improve services by having their say.

The Friends and Family Test is a simple question to gauge how patients – whatever their age, medical condition and background – rate their experience of NHS services.  It is quick, easy and anonymous and everyone has the opportunity to respond whenever they use the NHS.


  1. kevin riley says:

    All these initiatives are concealing the reality that the NHS is now no longer “national” since the removal of the NHS from democratic control as a result of the fundamental changes introduced by the last Conservative led Government in 2013.
    Even NHS England cannot guarantee that any identified “improvements” are actually implemented by the now “independent” NHS Foundation trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups – neither can Jeremy Hunt or the Department of Health.

  2. Sue Baron says:

    Whilst I welcome initiatives such as the Family and Friends Test that enable patients and their relatives or carers to quickly review their healthcare experiences, it is important that this data is also considered alongside other more detailed and in-depth accounts of people’s healthcare experiences. This should include accounts and insights into healthcare staff experiences as the providers of the care or service that is being assessed by patients. Healthcare staff directly encounter, interact with and support patients, relatives and carers on a daily basis thus it is vital that their feedback and views are also sought when aiming to drive continuous improvement in the NHS. As my own work has taught me, hearing both sides of the story enables a more balanced view, helps both ‘sides’ to feel valued, improves understanding of each other’s experiences and perspectives, and can lead to more effective, appropriate and sustainable change and improvement.

  3. David Peach says:

    We may have our say but as before we get little response. When I see they have chosen some reliable person to listen to whistle blowers. Chosen not by the present Department of Health their character is questionable. But probably by the Royal College of Nursing or the BMA we may get a better insight what is happening