A systematic approach to flagging concerns and picking up themes to be more responsive to FFT feedback

Trust/Practice: Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust

What did they do?

After two years of rolling out the FFT, the trust internally reviewed what information they were receiving, what it was telling them and what they were doing with it. This was a multidisciplinary approach involving key people from the range of services provided by the trust. They felt that the information collected by the two mandatory FFT questions could be strengthened to allow them to become more responsive to patient feedback. They achieved this by the following:

  • Adding 10 extra questions focusing on CQC standards around being treated with dignity and respect and kindness, being involved in care, understanding what was happening with care, feeling listened to, receiving clear information, feeling safe, being seen in a place that is welcoming, access to service and waiting times. Because the trust provides a vast array of services, this allowed them to really look at trends across the delivery of services.
  • Adding a trigger alert to the IT system, that sends an immediate response to service managers if a not recommended score is received or if the other ten questions are responded to negatively.
  • Reviewing and theming all comments received via free text daily. Because they review the comments daily, it makes it easy to see if there are comments which haven’t triggered an alert but could still support learning and improvement. Feedback can then be acted on immediately. The themes for categorising comments mirror those used in the Patient Advice and Complaints Department; supporting triangulation of feedback. All comments are also logged against a sentiment: positive, negative or neutral. Any feedback received via NHS Choices and Patient Opinion is also triangulated with internal data. By theming and sentiment setting this then allows staff to deep dive into more positive or negative comments according to specific themes. Theming the data in this way allows a service to focus on an issue that is being highlighted as a concern, e.g. appointment/visit times, and then act to improve it.

Quarterly reports are also provided to operational service areas. These reports show a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data and highlight top negative and positive themes for the different services as well as looking at how themes change within service areas over time.

What did they learn?

The trust’s systematic approach means that it’s now easy for staff to quickly act on feedback. Even though they recognise there is an extra resource required to review all comments coming through, they feel that this resource benefits service users, patients and carers. Importantly, this responsive approach allows the trust to make simple and low-budget changes that have a big impact on the care experience, supporting the commitment to improve the quality of the service they deliver.

Often the feedback coming through is simple and not that difficult to resolve, meaning that we can tackle it immediately to have an impact on overall patient experience.