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The NHS Friends and Family Test (FFT)

  • About FFT
  • FFT success stories

How your feedback can drive change

Providing feedback isn’t just a tick box exercise. Healthcare providers and commissioners do take your comments seriously and whenever possible act on it. We know that providers have responded to patient comments made about food quality, ward temperatures, waiting times and appointment bookings.  Take a look at some of the examples below.

Watch a series of videos produced by NHS England's as part of the Friends and Family Test Awards 2016 

More appointments

FFT results showed that patients of a Wessex GP practice thought there weren’t enough appointments available. The practice responded by extending evening surgeries, creating an extra 1,300 slots per year. The practice used the opportunity to remind patients about the high number of lost appointments caused by patients missing their allotted time (28 doctor appointments and 23 nurse appointments in one month alone).

For more info, read about GP services, including booking appointments.

Improvements for visually impaired patients

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust listened to a suggestion from a visually impaired patient who used their community services. The patient suggested that tinted drinking glasses instead of clear ones would be much easier to see.  The trust now plans to only order tinted glasses going forward.

Better services to children in A&E

FFT feedback showed that children using A&E services in Cumbria felt vulnerable because of the presence of "adults who are drunk and keep shouting". The Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local health trusts are now reviewing their waiting area layouts, to create spaces where children and young people can feel safe and comfortable.

Children also mentioned that in certain hospital areas, staff seemed less child-friendly. The trusts have responded to this by providing training to help staff in those areas improve their interactions with younger patients.

Read our section on children in hospital.

Reducing noise on the wards at night-time

Patients at the Hillingdon Hospital in London commented that the noise on the wards at night was disturbing their rest. The management launched a "Comfort at night" campaign among staff, which resulted in wards having lights out or dimmed at night; extra pillows and blankets being readily available; the purchase of silent-closing waste bins; ensuring that staff wear quiet shoes; and explaining to patients beforehand if they are likely to be awakened in the night for medication or checks.

Read our information about same-sex hospital accommodation.

Improving hospital stays overall

The Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust received a wider range of feedback from patients about their hospital stays. In response, the trust has put in place a series of changes, which include:

  • providing Wi-Fi around the site, so that patients can entertain themselves and stay in contact with their family and friends via social media
  • extending visiting hours for patients’ partners
  • buying a special chair to ensure stroke victims with poor upper body strength can still use the showers
  • buying reclining chairs for the comfort of relatives who need to stay overnight with a very sick patient
  • taking on more staff with expertise in breastfeeding to help new mothers with initial difficulties
  • adding details of the daily ward routine to patient information packs so that inpatients know what to expect
  • creating posters showing patients what the different uniforms on the wards mean, so they can easily identify staff

Page last reviewed: 20/08/2015

Next review due: 20/08/2017

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