NHS England has published guidance for practices ahead of the Friends and Family Test (FFT) roll out in just under six months.
A review of the FFT found that the test had made a positive impact on the NHS, with 78% of trusts saying it had increased the emphasis on patient experience in their trust.
The FFT was also seen to have an important role on driving local service improvements, as well as boosting staff morale when positive comments are received.
The review also found the net promoter score was not easily understood and, as a result, the FFT will move to a more transparent presentation of the data which both patients and staff will find easier to understand and use.
The guidance published today includes advice on how to make the FFT more inclusive, allowing people of all ages and from all parts of our community to provide feedback.
The new guidance - which is interactive and contains advice, videos, supporting materials and case studies - has been compiled after an in-depth NHS England review of the FFT in A&E and inpatient services since it was introduced in April 2013.
Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s national director for patients and information, said: “We are already seeing many examples of the ways in which the valuable free text comments are being used to make improvements to the experiences of patients in our hospitals and communities. As we roll out FFT to the whole of the NHS its value will be further strengthened. I hope that this will create a culture where patients expect to be given the opportunity to give feedback, and NHS staff value and act upon patients’ needs and wishes.
“We are going to continue to look at what the FFT data tells us and how we can continue to improve the way it is collected and used. This will include work to examine how we can make FFT more comparable to further increase its future usefulness in helping patients make informed choices."
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We want the NHS to be the most transparent healthcare system anywhere in the world, and the Friends and Family Test is both making it easier for patients to have a say about their care and helping hospitals improve standards. More than three million people have provided feedback already, and expanding the test to all NHS services will help improve patient experiences right across the NHS.”
From 1st December 2014, the FFT will be rolled out to GP practices, and from 1st January 2015, to mental health and community services.
To see the guidance in full, go to the NHS England website.