What is the Friends and Family Test?

The NHS has asked all providers to provide patients with the opportunity to provide feedback, following their treatment. This is known as the Friends and Family Test (FFT).

It has to be at least two questions, the first being a closed question “…would you recommend…. To your friends and family..” to which the answers vary from “Extremely likely” through to “Extremely unlikely”. This is then followed by a request to leave a comment as to their reasons.

By 1st December 2014, all GP practices must offer these two questions to patients, following every episode of treatment. They then need to collate and analyse the data, report the summaries to NHS England and then look at the comments for common themes to make service improvements. NHS England will then publish the FFT score on a national website that is public.


What FFT offer is proposed?

The FFT product will be offered by GEM CSU in collaboration with Good4HEALTH and Inspiration NW Ltd. The FFT methods available to GPs include Paper, Tablet/Kiosk, Web, email, Voice, Apps or SMS.

GEMs primary interest is in developing an innovative and comprehensive FFT offer for primary care and community care services, whilst delivering savings from economies of scale.


Why SMS for FFT?

The use of personal mobiles and SMS for FFT would be beneficial in primary care setting for the following reasons:

a)  A patient-centred and validated approach
b)  Use of everyday technologies
c)  Integration with existing patient record systems
d)  On-line access for monitoring, reporting and improvement action
e)  Real-time SMS feedback to mitigate risk
f) Flexibility to ask further questions

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