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. 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.
Since it was initially launched in April 2013, the FFT has been rolled out in phases to most NHS-funded services in England, giving all patients 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. We will be producing refreshed guidance during summer 2019.
So far, the FFT has produced around 65 million pieces of feedback so far – and the total rises by around 1.2 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 would recommend the NHS services they used to their loved ones. 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.
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.
While the results will not be 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. The latest data is published every month.
Publishing results of the Friends and Family Test
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 for staff
Useful information for patients and the public
New data from the NHS Friends and Family survey, which asks patients whether they would recommend A&E and inpatient wards to their nearest and dearest based on their own experience, has been released today. The survey, which will grow into the most comprehensive ever undertaken, covers around 4,500 NHS wards and 144 A&E services. It […]
NHS England has published guidance on the NHS National Friends and Family Test (FFT) for maternity services. Alongside this guidance please read the note of clarification about women who have experienced a bereavement (document now only available on our archived website here). The guidance outlines the background and requirements for implementing, reporting and publishing the […]
NHS England hailed the introduction of the friends-and-family test in hospitals as a major step forward in its drive to give patients a greater voice. From 1 April 2013, every patient in England who visits an A&E, and all patients who stay in hospital overnight will be asked whether they would recommend the service they […]
Guidance for NHS trusts on the NHS friends and family test has been published today by the Department of Health. The guidance details the background, requirements and implications of putting into practice a national friends and family test within the NHS. It aims to support those who will be implementing this work. For more information […]