Guidance on implementing the Friends and Family Test

Our original Friends and Family Test guidance, detailed on this page, was published in 2014 and remains in place for use across NHS services until 31 March 2020.

However, we have now published revised guidance to improve the FFT as a tool for improving healthcare services. You can find it on our Revised FFT guidance page.

Providers and commissioners can download and use the revised guidance now to help them prepare to implement the revised guidance from 1 April 2020, which will then replace all of the guidance and advice below.

For further details about the development of this guidance and access to our Frequently Asked Questions, via the FFT Development Project 2018-19 section.

NHS England provides guidance to support the implementation of the NHS Friends and Family Test (FFT) to NHS funded services and GP practices. A summary of the guidance for GP practices is also available.

NHS England worked with the British Dental Association (BDA) to produce a short summary of the guidance for NHS Dental Services.

Another document is provided for maternity services: Guidance for implementing, reporting and publishing the Friends and Family Test within maternity services.

The main FFT guidance document includes (page 47) advice that feedback should not be sought from women who suffer miscarriage or stillbirth. This followed research by Sands (the stillbirth and neonatal death charity), on behalf of NHS England.

NHS England subsequently published guidance to healthcare providers and suppliers of the Friends and Family Test in April 2016 on how best to handle the FFT in other sensitive situations in order to avoid causing distress to patients and to meet the highest standards of privacy, confidentiality and ethics when collecting and handling FFT data: The NHS Friends and Family Test: guidance on handling the Friends and Family Test in sensitive situations

The FFT guidance was the result of engagement with NHS providers, patients, the public and insight experts in carrying out a review of the methodology and implementation of the FFT after the first six months of national data collection. A number of pathfinder projects helped test how well things worked.

In order to ensure FFT implementation complies with new data protection legislation, effective from 25 May 2018, this supplementary guidance on the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation has been produced.

When the full FFT guidance is refreshed, in spring 2019, all guidance documents  will be incorporated into one publication.You can find a series of frequently asked questions about the FFT and guidance in the FAQs document.