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The NHS Friends and Family Test (FFT)

Would you recommend this service to friends and family?

The NHS Friends and Family Test (FFT) was created to help service providers and commissioners understand whether their patients are happy with the service provided, or where improvements are needed. It is a quick and anonymous way to give your views after receiving care or treatment across the NHS.

Since its launch in 2013, more than 10 million pieces of patient feedback have been submitted. The FFT has been rolled out across most NHS services, including community care, hospitals, mental health services, maternity services, GP and dental practices, emergency care, patient transport and more.

FFT resources and guidance

If you have any queries about the FFT, contact NHS England via email. You can also watch the FFT animations on YouTube: FFT animation: British Sign Language version or FFT animation: mental health care services version.

NHS England has created a range of promotional materials which you can download from its website. In addition, download the NHS FFT guidance for NHS services (PDF, 8.13Mb.

Results on NHS Choices

You can find out how a service provider scores on the FFT for most NHS services.

Simply use the Services near you search tool, select your NHS service and perform a postcode search. Select the provider you wish to look up. On the overview page of the provider's profile, you will find a selection tool that is called "Quality of service" or "Key facts". Here you can see the overall FFT score for the service provider, telling you what percentage of people would recommend the service. To find out about the data, select the link "Find out more about this data".

Additional FFT data is published by NHS England.

NHS trusts may also publish their results in their annual reports and quality accounts, and many GP and dental practices also give information on their own websites.

How does it work?

When you complete your treatment or are discharged from a service, you’ll often be invited to complete the FFT. You may be asked while you are still on the premises, or you may be contacted within the 48 hours that follow. Some providers may offer to return your FFT by post, or give you feedback over the phone or via their website.

Not all service providers will prompt their patients to do the FFT, but you can always give feedback if you wish. Most GP and dental practices, for example, display a collecting box and feedback forms in their waiting rooms, so you can complete one any time. If you don’t see anything and want to give feedback, simply ask for a form at reception.

Filling out the FFT form

You will be asked to answer the question: "How likely are you to recommend our service to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?"

You can rank your answer from "extremely likely" to "extremely unlikely". You will also have the opportunity to explain your ranking by adding comments, and you may be asked some follow-up questions. This is important, because service providers can only make changes if they know exactly what is or isn’t working.

You can ask a member of staff how this information is used.

Do you have to respond to the question?

Your answer is voluntary. But if you do answer, your feedback will provide valuable information for the service to celebrate positive feedback, and identify opportunities to make improvements. At the moment, around 9 out of 10 patients say they would recommend the service they've used, which lets staff know that their efforts have been appreciated.

Your answer will not be traced back to you, and your details will not be passed on to anyone. A friend or a member of your family is welcome to answer the question if you are unable to. Service providers are encouraged to make the FFT accessible to all patients. This means they should be able to help patients that may need assistance, such as people with disabilities, literacy issues or mental health problems.

If you feel that you should have been given the opportunity to respond, but did not receive the question, speak to a member of staff first. If you wish to give feedback for a hospital service, contact the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team or the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team at your hospital.

An advocacy service may help you either to fill in the form or to request one, if you feel you have been denied one.

How will the results be used?

Service providers will gather the results and analyse them rapidly to see if any action is required. The responses to the FFT question will be used to create an overall score, which will be published on this website. The comments, however, are retained by the service, to pass on to staff and managers.

Does this replace the NHS complaints procedure or other forms of feedback?

No, this will not replace the current NHS complaints procedure or other forms of feedback. Hospitals and other service providers will continue to use their own ways of gathering feedback in addition to the NHS FFT.


The 12 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

aljo said on 29 October 2015

I was given a survey card whilst on ward 15 and decided to fill it in on-line using the address given.
This took me to a completely different survey that I was not interested in. Why make simple things so complicated.

Regarding my stay...Medically everything was fantastic. Staff were superb. Food was good too.

Unfortunately this positive experience was marred on the day of discharge.

I had to spend the whole of the day simply waiting for the pharmacy to deliver one item. From the time the doctor discharged me at approx 10 am it took until 6 pm to get the item, and that was only when the nurse went to get it.

This is a relatively minor issue for me considering the care I was given but was such a waste of public money.

We are always hearing stories about the dire straits the NHS are in, and about the shortage of beds but I occupied a bed for a whole day and enjoyed at least two meals totally unnecessarily.

Small issues like this must cost the NHS a fortune and are an irritation to the patient.

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Triffitt said on 06 August 2015

Nice place friendly staff couldn't fill in form provided no pens waiting time shocking 30mims to be seen and I was 5mins early for my appointment I wouldn't recommend at all discousting

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dave0 said on 09 June 2015

Regarding he Friends and Family test: I have extreme doubts as to whether there is any benefit to this. Some hospital wards do not seem to know about it, our doctors surgery has a notice but no forms, and our dentist has nothing on display A friend of ours was taken ill recently at home and despite efforts by ambulance and paramedic staff died His widow received a letter this week asking if he wanted to recommend that particular service!!

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Moody06 said on 21 April 2015

Today I visited the Shakespeare walk in centre and after waiting Four and half hours I finally got seen by a doctor who was lovely. It's a pity that the reception staff weren't the same. I have never met such rude staff. The way they spoke to patients was disgusting. The facilities are rubbish considering the majority of people are wait g a long time.

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Ha5Rav said on 30 January 2015

The results are so complicated. The information needed to explain the questions and answers is complicated. The results are meaningless. A simple Yes or No is all that is needed to the question "Would you recommend this health care facility to your friends and family?"

Only NHS, and NHS in England, would create a massive project with 25 page booklets, a complicated league table of results with odd calculations to convert language to scores. The result is nobody believes the results or understands what they mean.

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User916641 said on 31 October 2014

To be fair I came to kings after a RTC with fractures torn liver and dislocated knee and they worked wonders while I was there they fixed me up and was then scheduled for a ACL reconstruction, but when I went for a pre op they messed up sent me home and didn't do what was supposed to be done and I ended up having to wait another month and half for the surgery, they also found a pancreas tumor and want to do surgery on that but upon appointments and visits the staff on receptions are rude and don't seem to know what is going on, plus leave you in the dark! As a working British guy who pays national insurance I think the NHS is going down the pan I'm still waiting to hear after two weeks of pre op for pancreas when I call I get answer machine or wrong department then no response! Made a complaint to PALS but never heard back.
I'm livid as work are writing me off because I know I'm due for surgery but can't give them notice as I don't have a clue what's going on and I'm kind of in limbo!
Gutted to say I used to be proud of the NHS and helped to raise money through charity's for them but thanks to the gov it's really dying!

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vnessS said on 28 October 2014

I think it is great that the NHS are asking for peoples opinions to recognise areas for improvement and of excellence.

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millieanne13 said on 22 September 2013

This initiative is supposed to be simple to understand but in the hands of the NHS, it takes a booklet of 25 pages to explain it.
It is supposed to be delivered quickly so that the ward or hospital or service can respond quickly. As a surgeon says, if the feedback is delivered a week after the monthly audit, it's a postmortem but if it's delivered immediately, it's a diagnostic tool. How often does the NHS ask for feedback but not act on it? How often does a simple and effective idea swell into an inoperable initiative because too many managers are involved? The information being gather is almost useless because too few people are being asked to comment, the questions have not been thought through (see comments above) and the information being put out is difficult to interpret. To many managers, not enough nurses! Too many managers, not enough nurses!!!!!

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dickyminto said on 20 August 2013

I completely agree with the above comments, I can see why the initial thought process happened, by only getting positive scores for extremely likely to recommend you would think would push people to make that extra special service. However, many people are ticking likely in a positive way, there comments are positive and are explaining that they chose likely because they were happy with the service. I don't think many patient would expect that ticking likely and not extremely likely actually becomes a negative. You could have ten very happy patients that tick likely because they think they have had great treatment, yet that will make your ward look like it provides terrible care. It would make more sense to combine likely and extremely likely against unlikely and extremely likely. or explain to the patients more in the questions how their score is calculated. I do not think it at all displays the great care many of us provide and actually brings moral down on the wards.

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Ericfisher said on 10 August 2013

1. Some review of the language used would be useful. For example, getting only "OK" when getting a net score of say 78 on extremely likely is not only de-motivating but also misleading when say 97% gave a positive reply. Is there a category "excellent"?
2. Can those answering "likely" to recommend the ward to family and friends be reflected in the overall score. Alternatively could the percentage of those unlikely or extremely unlikely to recommend the ward be highlighted. Otherwise, the results are unfairly depressed, especially given the subjectivism of the survey.
3. Can there be clearer explanation on the different categories i.e. when does "OK" become "poor" and when does it become "good"?

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User792675 said on 03 August 2013

I fully agree with the response seems the smaller trusts with less responses are looking as if they are coming out on top.The FFT appears to penalise the larger trust especially those with AED depts. I would be interest to know how NHS Choices has arrived at the okay,poor and great colour coded scores ?

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NHSfan said on 31 July 2013

How can we be sure of the validity of the Friends and Family Test when about 10% were fewer than 20 respondents and 5% were fewer than 10. This skews the results and discriminates against those who had more respondents. Does this not suggest that those with few respondents might have problems?

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Page last reviewed: 20/08/2015

Next review due: 20/08/2017

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Media last reviewed: 31/10/2014

Next review due: 31/10/2016