The Friends and Family Test (FFT) is an important feedback tool that supports the fundamental principle that people who use NHS services should have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience. Listening to the views of patients and staff helps identify what is working well, what can be improved and how.
The FFT asks people if they would recommend the services they have used and offers a range of responses. From April 2020, a new question has replaced the original FFT question about whether people would recommend the service they used to their friends and family. There will be delays in some services being able to implement the new guidance in full due to the impact of the coronavirus on services.
The replacement question invites feedback on the overall experience of using the service. When combined with supplementary follow-up questions, the FFT provides a mechanism to highlight both good and poor patient experience. This kind of feedback is vital in transforming NHS services and supporting patient choice.
After being launched in April 2013, the FFT was rolled out in phases to most NHS-funded services in England over a two-year period, and now gives all patients, users of services, their carers and loved ones the opportunity to leave feedback on their care and treatment.
During 2018/19, we carried out a development project to improve the FFT and make it a more useful tool for driving service improvement. This resulted in a number of revisions to the way it works, set out in revised guidance for services, and these changes are effective from 1 April 2020, though implementation in many services will be delayed due to pressures from the coronavirus response across the NHS,
By the end of 2019, the FFT had resulted in more than 75 million pieces of feedback – and the total rises by around 1.3 million more every month – making it the biggest source of patient opinion in the world. Scores so far have told us that at least nine out of ten patients respond positively on their experience. Patient comments also identify areas where improvements can be made so that providers can make care and treatment better for everyone.
See our section on Implementing FFT Guidance for details of how the FFT works now.
The feedback gathered through the FFT is being used in NHS organisations across the country to stimulate local improvement and empower staff to carry out the sorts of changes that make a real difference to patients and their care. You can see examples of this in our FFT case studies.
While the results are not statistically comparable against other organisations because of the various data collection methods, FFT provides a broad measure of patient experience that can be used alongside other data to inform service improvement and patient choice.
Monthly results of the Friends and Family Test
The results of the FFT are published monthly.
The Friends and Family Test for staff
Since April 2014, all NHS trusts providing acute, community, ambulance and mental health services in England have also been required to implement the FFT for staff. Guidance to support organisations administering the Staff FFT is published on the Staff Friends and Family Test page.
Further information/supporting publications
Other useful information
Useful information for patients and the public
Top tips for implementing the Friends and Family Test are part of a set of new information for dental practices that has just been published. Dentists and their teams were in the most recent NHS-funded services to start using the FFT to gather feedback from their patients, from April this year. More than 833,000 pieces […]
The NHS Friends and Family Test (FFT) has reached a memorable milestone today by achieving its ten millionth piece of feedback from patients. Launched in April 2013 and now fully rolled out across the NHS, the FFT has allowed millions of patients to give invaluable feedback on their experiences of care and treatment in services […]
Updated guidance has been published to help make the NHS’s biggest patient feedback tool, the Friends and Family Test, more inclusive. The new guidance covers services across the NHS that are provided to children and young people – with special provisions for looked after children – as well as patients with learning disabilities, dementia, language […]
The Friends and Family Test (FFT) is set to mark its second anniversary by rolling out to millions more patients when it is implemented from April 1 in NHS dental practices, ambulance services, patient transport, day-case and outpatient services. Launched less than two years ago in April 2013, FFT has already allowed more than five […]
The NHS Friends and Family Test has reached a memorable milestone by gathering its five millionth piece of feedback from patients. Launched less than two years ago in April 2013, FFT has allowed millions of patients to give invaluable feedback on their experiences of care and treatment in services throughout the NHS. It has quickly […]
Patients using mental health and community health services are able to give feedback on their experiences of care and treatment from today (Thursday, 1 January, 2015). This comes as the Friends and Family Test (FFT), a real time patient feedback tool that is already operating for some hospital services such as maternity and A&E, continues […]
NHS England today took the next step towards expanding the Friends and Family Test (FFT) to all NHS services. The roll out of the FFT will mean every patient will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the services they have received, enabling the public to make better informed choices about the services they use. […]
The first results of the Friends and Family Test (FFT) for NHS-funded maternity services across England have today been published alongside the latest FFT results for A&E and Inpatient departments. The data comprises feedback from thousands of pregnant women and mothers of new-born babies who, since October 1, 2013, have been giving their views on […]
More than one million individual pieces of feedback have been collected through the Friends and Family Test (FFT) in just six months, driving the patient voice into the heart of the NHS to improve services. Today’s publication of the latest FFT results show that between April and October 2013 a total of 1,176,562 surveys have […]
NHS England has today published September’s Friends and Family Test results across all hospitals in England. The key findings for the September FFT data are: The total number of responses to date (April-September) is 983,728 (including independent-sector providers) The number of responses in England has risen by 4% from 183,464 in August to 190,280 in […]