Do you know that any time you use NHS services you can make your voice heard by giving fast, anonymous feedback that could help improve services?
The Friends and Family Test (FFT) asks a simple question to find out whether, based on your experience, you would recommend it to the people you care about, which is seen as the acid test for most people of whether something is good enough.
Most NHS funded services now offer you the opportunity to rate your experience and that includes space to give any comments to explain your score or to make suggestions about how things could be made better.
As part of a national public-awareness raising week, the FFT is in the spotlight with a series of local events and other initiatives to let people know how they can have their say on the NHS other than through formal patient surveys or making a complaint.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) is getting involved in the week.
- By twitter @ULHTpatients:
- Daily counts on number of comments received for each site
- Daily a sample of comments received
- Launch of new Friends and Family Test pages at: https://www.ulh.nhs.uk/patients/patient-experience/friend-and-family-test/.
Nationally FFT was launched in April 2103 and the Trust has recorded 170,250 of pieces of patient feedback. Figures are submitted to NHS England every month and, nationally, almost 17 million pieces of patient feedback have been given in the past three years.
One of the benefits is that NHS staff, and the people who plan local healthcare, get confirmation that they are mostly doing a great job: in general, more than 9 out of 10 people give a positive response and that is really good for morale. In United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, the latest scores are 90% positive.
What about the things that could be better? Patient comments provide a rich source of ideas and help to explain what is not going well as well as the things that people are happy with. The fact the information comes through soon after the patient’s contact means faster action can be taken to address any issues.
It might be something as simple as poor signage, difficulty getting through on the telephone, cleanliness of the facilities or politeness of staff. It could be a big idea for driving up quality, saving money or making it easier for people of all ages, languages and physical conditions to get involved.
Around the country, the NHS is listening to patients and there are thousands of examples of action being taken in response to patients’ views.
Jennie Negus, Deputy Chief Nurse, said: “Gathering useful feedback in real time from our patients is really important to identify and tackle concerns at an early stage, improve the quality of care the Trust provides and celebrate successes. The feedback is passed on to the staff on each ward and department to help them improve services by taking action.”
If you want to find out more, ask a member of staff next time you get care or treatment from the NHS. You can also see more information about the FFT at www.nhs.uk/friendsandfamily.