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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, around 70 million pieces of patient feedback have been submitted. The FFT is in use 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: standard version, 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. In addition, download the NHS FFT guidance for NHS services (PDF, 8.13Mb).

Results on the NHS website

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 carry out 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 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 will 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 collection box and feedback forms in their waiting rooms, so you can complete one at any time. If you do not 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 is not working.

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

Following a recent review with members of the public and healthcare staff, changes to the FFT will be made in 2020. This includes inviting patients to rate the quality of their overall experience. Find out more about the friends and family development project on the NHS England website.

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.

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.

Tip: 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 that will be published on this website. The comments, however, are retained by the service, to pass on to staff and managers.

Service providers are also encouraged to inform patients about comments and suggestions made, and include the actions they are planning to take in response. This information could be provided in various forms such as updates via their website, at patient meetings or by displaying the "You said – we did" posters (see example poster (PDF, 2.0Mb)) in receptions and waiting areas.

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.

Page last reviewed: 13 August 2018
Next review due: 13 August 2021