We are committed to providing the best possible experience for our patients. Your feedback is a really important way of helping us to achieve this.
The NHS friends and family test (FFT) helps us understand whether you are happy with our service or if we need to change something to improve the quality of service you get. It is a simple and anonymous way to tell us what you think of the care or treatment you received in the NHS.
The FFT was launched in 2013 and is available across most NHS services. If you have received care from one of our services recently, the FFT will ask you whether you would recommend our services to your friends and family.
You may complete an online version of the FFT by clicking here to tell us what you think.
You can also complete a paper version of the survey at home or at one of our sites/services and send it back to us by post - ask a member of staff for a copy. You can also print a copy of the survey, which is available in different formats and languages, by clicking here.
Use the video links below, which explains how people who use NHS services can give feedback on their experience of care and treatment by using the NHS Friends and Family Test (FFT).
Each quarter, we produce a report on the key themes from the Friends and Family test survey responses. This quarter, we received over 3400 surveys containing over 5000 comments.
Over 2000 comments were received from Community Patients.
Summary of Key themes
‘Reception is the face of every organisation’ (Sexual Health October 16)
- Patients’ first impressions of our services are crucial. Patients report dissatisfaction when information about reception, or lack of, is not clear in their appointment letter or on the day of their appointment
- Where reception staff are warm, welcoming and helpful it puts patients at ease and they report much higher levels of satisfaction
- Where reception staff appear preoccupied with other members of staff or looking at computer/telephone screens it leaves patients feeling unimportant and more anxious about what is sometimes an already difficult appointment
‘The only way that it could be improved, is part of a Holistic approach for us with multiple health problems’ (Podiatry December 16)
- Patients are increasingly asking us to look at their health needs as a whole and to provide them with ‘joined up’ services where their GP works with the hospital and the Community Care services.
- Where this works well patients feel valued, informed, and involved in their care
- This is also relevant for our paediatric services working better with schools and local authorities
The staff made me and my family feel extremely comfortable and relaxed (Health Visiting Nov 16)
- Patients report high levels of satisfaction with their care when family members/carers are involved.
- Carers value the opportunity to feed back on the care their family/friends are receiving
Over 3000 comments were received from Mental Health Patients
Summary of Key themes
‘Service is run very well, I feel my therapist listens to me and helps me to believe that recovery is possible’ (Eating Disorder Service Dec 16)
- A considerable number of comments received across Mental Health Services relate to clinicians and health staffs ability to ‘Listen’ to patients/carers
- Patients report the highest levels of satisfaction when they have felt listened to. They feel valued, they feel that their concerns and anxieties are taken seriously, they feel heard and understood, they don’t feel alone and they don’t feel judged. It supports their recovery.
- When patients don’t feel listened to they don’t feel involved in their treatment, they feel judged and they disengage from the recovery process.
‘My keyworker gave me help and support, without that I would have been dead’ (Barnet Recovery Service Oct 16)
- The relationship the patient has with their keyworker is key factor in their level of satisfaction with the service.
- Where is it is working well patients feel supported and involved in their care
- Where patients report low satisfaction their key worker is changed frequently and there are not enough of them to support the patients’ needs
‘If only the government would give extra funding so that waiting times are not so long’ (CAMHS Oct 16)
- Across Mental Health services patients report having had to wait too long both for first appointments and in between appointments. This particularly affects patients who feel they are in crisis or need emergency treatment.
You said, We did!
Where contact details are included services from across the Trust have spoken directly with patients to better understand their feedback and have discussed this within their teams.
- Concerns raised around delay in contact between Health Visiting team and patient following answerphone messages requesting a visit. This was raised initially as a formal complaint on Datix but downgraded to a concern as the patient felt the issues had been resolved. The service have:
- Reviewed their processes regarding messages left on answerphones and how they are dealt with in the office to ensure that all messages are dealt with in a timely manner
- Offered a home visit for the 6-12 month development review of their twin sons with a Health Visitor.
- Provided further support for the family; a Health visitor is to touch base/visit the family once a month for the next three months
- Patient reported delays in waiting times. It was unclear what the waiting time was in relation to, however team became aware of a staff issue which was resulting in delays. Team have addressed this by reducing the number of appointments and ensuring there is sufficient time allowed between appointment slots to reduce potential waiting time.
- Patient reported dissatisfaction in regard to the process for grant applications. Client records show that all the relevant details were raised with the client: grant eligibility subject to assessment and waiting times. This was acknowledged as good practice and should continue. Where grant assessments are concerned admin will provide a letter which reinforces that grant assessments are carried out in deciding whether a client is eligible. Feedback was reported at Nov staff meeting where learning was discussed
- Patient reported that although staff are friendly there is no continuity of care and they had not felt involved in decisions about their care. The Service Manager acknowledged comments and was sorry to hear that this patient had a negative experience. On assessment, patients are informed that due to shift work, the Team cannot guarantee the same person will always be available. However, the Team have comprehensive daily handovers where progress and needs of patients under the team are discussed. The shift coordinator when allocating visits, will check if there are staff on duty who have had previous contact with a patient and allocate them wherever possible. Care planning is also discussed at assessment and patients notes indicate that the assessing nurse clearly asked for the patients views on the Teams involvement and amended the original plan to incorporate the views. The Team have acknowledged that they may have not done as much as we should have on this occasion to ensure the patient was aware of how such issues are managed. This feedback will be shared with nurses at the next scheduled Team meeting as a learning opportunity.
- Patient reported difficulty gaining access to a building and dissatisfaction at being moved between services. Service Manager noted that no Patient details were available to follow up. The service has had a number of issues with the main door, most of which have now been rectified. A pilot has been introduced to overcome this issue and the pathways are being further streamlined as part of the redesigning of the ‘entry’ to mental health services.
- Patient was upset to have received a letter via post stating they had been seen by the service within the past three months when they had not been seen for over a year and had been working hard to get better. The concern highlighted a flaw in Services mailshot. It was sent to all patients who had an open referral (to the team) in the last 3 months. It appears that the police had requested this information which had ‘appeared ‘as an open referral. Reviewed processes and now practitioners only open a referral if the patient is actually seen. No longer open referrals if the police request the information. Message left for patient (by phone) so explanation can be given that records are correct, but the method of mailshot did not pick up that it had only been a request for information.
In February 2021 305 patients responded to our FFT. In response:
- 206 said 'very good'
- 68 said 'good'
- 21 said 'neither good nor poor'
- 4 said 'poor'
- 4 said 'very poor'
- 2 said 'don't know'